Parents want to help their kids understand the risks of the internet and teach them how to avoid scams. Cyberbullying and inappropriate content have become more common. Parents need a guide to help navigate the online world with their children. While the internet can be a great tool for kids to talk with friends or even take a financial literacy course, parents should use caution. Prepare kids with the information they need to make smart choices online.
Online safety risks
Before you send your child online, know the safety risks they might face. When you understand the safety concerns, you can discuss them with your child and make a plan to stay safe or deal with any problems that come up together. The top risks that parents worry about online are:
- Cyberbullying. Bullying online is any threatening, aggressive, or mean-spirited communication sent electronically.
- Inappropriate content. Bad language, hate speech, violent graphics, and other content concern adults trying to protect their kids from harmful effects.
- Online predators. Every parent's worst nightmare is dealing with online predators. Parents can take steps to protect kids. Teach kids how to avoid scams and spot people looking for personal information or to meet offline.
Steps to stay safe online
Talk to your kids about online safety and why a few simple rules can help them have more fun and stay safe online while preventing harmful activity like bullying. Communication is key when helping children understand risks. Talk about the benefits of treating others with respect on the internet. Some safety guidelines to protect your kids include:
#1: Never share your personal information online
Teach kids how to protect themselves by keeping their information like name, address, and other details private. Encourage kids to talk to you if someone online wants to know any personal information.
#2: Don’t talk to strangers
The same rules parents teach kids about talking to strangers in the real world should apply online. Set rules for kids to avoid responding to any texts, messages, or communication from someone they don’t know. Let kids know to talk to you immediately if someone online is trying to meet up with your child in person.
#3: Don’t open or click links from people you don’t know
A great way to help kids learn how to avoid scams is to show them how to avoid clickbait. Explain how viruses and scams can impact your child and discuss how to avoid scams in the first place.
#4: Set privacy settings and parental controls
Parental controls and privacy settings can be great tools for parents to create a safer world for their child online. Certain apps, games, and devices allow parents to control how kids communicate or what type of content they can see. Investigate privacy settings available to limit the online risks and content your child can access at home.
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