The internet is an amazing place of education, entertainment, discovery, and opportunity. As with any other environment you and your family visit, you want to make sure that everyone is safe.
When it comes to keeping your family safe, here is what the experts and advocates around the Internet are saying:
1) Webwise.ie offers a list of 10 outstanding precautions for parents including the following.
Discover the Internet together
They encourage parents to “Be the one to introduce your child to the internet.” In their opinion, it is an advantage for both the child and parent which could “achieve a positive attitude to internet exploration. This could make it easier to share both positive and negative experiences in the future.”
2) PBS has developed an extensive roster of educational, informative, and entertaining programs that parents and children share together. They remind parents of their position:
Parents are in the best position to help their kids learn and grow
In that spirit, they point out that “Kids are trusting by nature, so it’s up to parents to teach them never to share personal information online.”
3) Speaking of search engines, Google has created the Internet Safety Center where they help equip parents to train kids:
Helping kids become smart digital citizens with Be Internet Awesome
One of the real risks online for our children is an incredibly powerful temptation to compare our life with others. Google says, “Make sure your child knows that what friends share online is just one part of the whole story, and it’s usually the highlights. Remind them that everyone also has boring, sad, or embarrassing moments that they don’t share.”
4) Norton, the folks who protect against viruses, spyware, malware, and other online attacks, provides a lot of good information including:
Remind kids why their identity is important
The security experts point out that “A child’s identity can have as much value as an adult’s identity, if not more. Scammers can trick kids into disclosing their Social Security number and other details to commit identity theft. Remind children not to reveal too much information about themselves. Their date of birth, address, and SSN are all personal information and they shouldn’t share them freely.”
5) Growing up many of us watched Saturday morning cartoons and undoubtedly we would hear a message from McGruff; The Crime Dog. McGruff is still helping parents and children stay safe and encourages families to:
Silence can be golden
A great reminder for kids of all ages, “If you are talking to someone online and they make you uncomfortable, remember you don’t have to talk back to them.”
By no means is this list exhaustive but it hopefully connects you to some great resources you can use to help your family safely get the most out of the internet now and in the future.