I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
June is one of the best months of the year. School is out for the summer and my kids are all home, ready for me to entertain them 24/7. This month is National Internet Safety Month. I think it’s a great time to think about internet safety because I know my kids will want to spend time online during their summer vacation.
The internet is full of wonderful resources to keep kids learning even while school is out. BUT the internet can be a dangerous place for kids. Parents need to be aware of media safety issues so they can discuss it with their children and keep them safe. My oldest children (ages 5 and 9) are allowed to use the internet at home and at school.
HOW MY FAMILY KEEPS OUR KIDS SAFE ONLINE
One rule we have established in our house is that children can only use the internet while a parent is present to monitor their activities.
Something we try to do regularly is remind our kids they should NEVER give out personal information online. Some websites may ask for your child’s information to get a free gift or win a prize, but that information for sales databases or worse, it could be used to harm them. Read Tips for Parents on Online Privacy.
Regularly remind the kids that there are people on the internet who are not who they say they are.
Tell them to let mom and dad know immediately about anything they see on the internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.
I am sure that as my children get older, my husband and I will have to increase the amount of surveillance we give to their online activities. Teenagers are more likely to have a cell phone and spend time texting friends and using Facebook and other social media accounts. Check out these Tips For Parents on Cell Phone and Mobile Technology Use.
Parents have to make sure their children are not leaving themselves vulnerable by sharing personal information. Sometimes kids may not even realize just how much information strangers have access to on the internet. Today’s teens can be tech savvy, and I feel like it will be my job as a parent to make sure I can keep up!
Did you know that the legal age for someone to create a personal Facebook account is 13 years old? That is just one of the things I learned by taking a brief quiz called “Are You a Cyber Smart Parent?” You can take the Cyber Survivor quiz, too. There is also a great resource Tips For Parents on Social Networking.
A GREAT FIRST STEP…
Talking to your child about online safety is a great first step. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America takes child safety seriously. They are committed to providing tips and tools to help youth and their parents and guardians safely navigate the online world. BGCA keeps everyone aware of important social media safety issues so that we can have an open dialogue about them.
Check out the Cyber Survivor video series and I promise you will learn something new (and probably surprising) in each one. If you have a teenager, watch them together. I think it would be a great way to get an internet safety conversation going.
How do you keep your child safe on the internet? At what age do/did you allow your child to get online? Do you monitor your child’s social media accounts and/or online activities? What are some of your “House Rules” about internet usage? Did you know that 1 in 3 kids have experienced cyber bullying? Share your thoughts in the comments.