Internet Safety Guide For Parents – Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

Most parents remember the card catalogue drawers, journal stacks, microfiche and copious amounts of note taking on index cards. We have every reason to be impressed and eager that our children make use of the quick and convenient sources of information provided by the internet. However, as with most things, there are risks and dangers mixed in with those benefits.

Keeping your kids safe online is a challenge, which any responsible parent feels obligated to meet, but the vastness of the internet makes deciding where to begin pretty formidable. Our internet safety guide for parents is presented in two sections:

• Ten Risks to Your Kids on the Internet
• Five Practices for Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

Our objective is to help you recognize and target the risks with practical steps to keep you kids safe while they are online. Through this guide, your children can reap the benefits the internet provides without being exposed to the dangers. Let’s get started.

 

10 Biggest Risks to Your Child’s Safety on the Internet

Before modern robotics took up the task, specially trained units with minesweeping devices were used to identify the location of the landmines in a minefield and mark them so they could be avoided. Once the mines were clearly marked, soldiers could move through the field unharmed. The first part of keeping your kids safe online is a lot like the job of these specially trained military units.

In this section of our guide we are going to give you the information necessary to identify the potential risks and dangers your kids could face on the internet. Once you have identified those risks, you can mark them and take additional steps to make certain that your children are not harmed as they move forward on the internet. Keep in mind that these are not the only risks, but those which are the most common. In order to maintain safety, you will have to be vigilant and educate yourself on any and all of the new risks that develop.

 

 

Risk #1: Sharing Personal Information

This is probably the most critical risk on the internet because we tend to underestimate how devastating this can become. Many adults give out way too much information in a casual manner. Kids tend to be more trusting and less aware that the information they share enhances their status as a target. Here is how sharing too much personal information has the potential of exploding into something very dangerous:

• Photos. Posting photos that show easily recognizable places in the neighborhood or town where you live. Cyber-predators are able to zero in on these locations, stalk your children, and then gather all of the information they need.

• Bios. Biographical information, even incomplete, can be pieced together into forming a complete portfolio of the lives of your children, where they live, where they are likely to be at a given time and provide a wealth of targeting opportunities to harm the children or the entire family.

• Vital Information. Children are sometimes tricked into giving out vital information to a person or organization which they believe to be legit. Vital information includes driver’s license and ID numbers, social security numbers, address, date of birth, etc. This information can be used for identity theft, which becomes a monstrous problem to clear up.

Quick Tips

1. Make your children wary of what they post and suspicious of every site that asks them for personal information.

2. Teach your children to never give out their proper name, only nicknames and teach them good password protocol.

3. You should regularly check the privacy settings on your home computer and the devices of your kids, be certain that location settings are disabled, and periodically check the credit ratings of your kids.

 

Risk #2: Cyber-bullying

This is a serious risk that has two sides to it. It has the side of the one being bullied and the side of the one doing the bullying. Either side can have harmful results. In our modern age, the added dimension of smartphones that are typically with your kids all of the time makes this something that is nearly impossible to escape. Cyber-bullying tends to present itself in several different ways. Here are some of the most common:

• Hate Sites. These are websites or profiles designed to defame another person.

• Trolling. People who follow a person’s site to leave rude, defamatory content in the comments section.

• Voting. Sites like “Hot or Not,” “F**k of Kill,” etc. ask readers to rate photos of various people in a very derogatory manner.

• Embarrassing Photos or Videos. With modern technology, photos and videos can be altered in such a way as to embarrass people by adding things in or taking away. Here are some examples of what can be accomplished using image manipulation software.

• Encouraging Self-Harm. These are messages, which tend to come in a constant barrage, encouraging the victim to hurt or kill themselves in order to escape the constant harassment.

• Exclusion. Purposely excluding the victim from social events and groups, and making certain that they know about it by sending them updates of the event they weren’t invited to.

• Hijacking or Creating a False Profile. This approach uses a social media profile, created by someone other than the victim, and has the victim posting embarrassing and derogatory things about others, which causes the victim to become a target of revenge.

• Threatening Messages. Messages that threaten harm to the victim, his pets, his family, or any persons or property that are important to the victim.

Even if your child is not a victim of cyber-bullying, you should make sure that he or she is not taking part in perpetuating or supporting this behavior. Cyber-bullying can turn ugly and become physically harmful to the point of death when someone takes things one step too far or the victim snaps and seeks revenge.

Quick Tips

1. Be careful what you share with others. Statements and photos might seem innocent to your child initially, but they can lead to retribution or be ammunition for bullying.

2. Record any messages, photos or videos with screen shots and documentation if your child receives anything inappropriate or threatening.

3. DO NOT RESPOND to threats. Instead, report them to the proper authorities with documented evidence.

 

Risk #3: Online Grooming

Online grooming is a means by which sexual predators and online scammers gain the trust of your child and then use their misplaced confidence to harm them. Online groomers tend to be very good at drawing your kids into trusting them completely. Here are some of the ways that online grooming takes place:

• Peer Profile. Groomers present themselves with a very realistic fake profile and photos that causes your kids to think that they are just another kid. They hang out on social media and in gaming sites where they start chatting.

• Bashing Parents and Authority Figures. Groomers seize on conversations about parents, teachers and other authority figures when your kids are frustrated or disappointed and join in on bashing them. This tends to make them more legitimate in kids’ minds.

• Being Sympathetic. When your child shares their feelings and emotions online, groomers seize upon these opportunities to build up a level of false confidence.

• Encouraging Secrecy. Kids love having a secret friend or having secrets that they share only with certain people. Groomers know this and make use of it to prevent their victims from exposing them.

• Personal Contact. Once a groomer has brought your kid to a certain level of confidence and secrecy, they often encourage meeting up. This could be the last meet-up or hook-up your kid ever attends.

Quick Tips

1. Turn off chatting on games and social media sites. Monitor them frequently to make sure that they are not turned back on and being used.

2. Ask about every person on your child’s friends lists and be certain that they are someone that both you and they actually know in the real world.

3. Monitor behaviors like: screen switching when you enter the room, secrets sites and people, the appearance of devices you did not purchase, the use of language that is not common in your household, spending more time online, urgency to get online, and a new level of volatility.

 

Risk #4: Harmful or Inappropriate Content

There are tons of sites, which include content that is inappropriate or potentially harmful to your kids, all over the internet. The fourth most common internet concern reported by parents in a recent Irish Examiner Poll is the exposure of their child to pornography or other inappropriate content. What your child sees and experiences online can have some permanent and devastating consequences which will follow them throughout their lives. Inappropriate content can pop up anywhere and it is categorized in the following ways:

• Pornography. The dangers of pornography can be masked in very scantily clad men or women, leaving little to the imagination. It can also be nudity, soft-core porn where the actual sex act is veiled or hardcore porn where the sex act is highlighted.

• Death and Gore. These sites show videos and photos of persons being killed or maimed by accidents or acts of violence.

• Glorified Violence and Cruelty. Videos showing fights, street brawls, raw battlefield footage in an attempt to glorify violence. Videos of people picking on a bully or attacking innocent victims.

• Bigotry, Hatred and Racism. Sites that glorify movements whose main purpose is racism, hate or bigotry. Sites that directly target individuals, groups or races with their content.

• Encouraging Self-Harm, Crime or Terrorism. These are sites that promote suicide and other times of self-harm as a higher level of devotion or experience. Some sites justify committing certain crimes or terrorism in the name of some higher order or higher objective.

The damage done by these types of sites tends to be on a deeper, psychological level and their effects often go unnoticed before some major outbreak or trigger causes them to act out. Guarding against this type of inappropriate content not only protects your children, but also the greater community.

Quick Tips

1. Do not feel obligated to maintain your child’s privacy. It is your responsibility to monitor their internet activities and direct them to appropriate behavior. Frequently check the internet activities of your kids.

2. Setup and monitor the status of filters that prevent access to these types of sites.

3. Supervise the internet activities of your kids. One of the best ways is to have them use computers in common areas where some or all family members are present.

 

Risk #5: Sexting

A specific type of inappropriate content is sexting. This word is an amalgamation of “sex” and “texting.” It is an activity in which your kids get involved in sexual conversations that are well beyond an appropriate level for their age. These conversations typically involve fantasies, role-playing, descriptions of specific sexual acts, directing them to do certain sexual acts to themselves, etc. Sexting sometimes includes the exchange of nude photos or photos of genitalia. Some of the risks involved with sexting include:

• Shared photos that can become public and never go away.
• Photos and conversations can be used for bullying or blackmail.
• Legal issues associated with child pornography.

Quick Tips

1. Kids need to be instructed concerning the extreme peer pressure involved in sexting and how to avoid it.
2. Monitor and review the chat sessions your kids have been involved in to see if conversations are leading in a sexual direction or have already arrived there.
3. Closely monitor the photo galleries on their phones and computers.

 

Risk #6: Spending Money

Spending money online is a risky proposition for adults, but in the hands of a kid, it can have disastrous consequences. Companies often brag about how quick, easy and convenient it is to make purchases on their site. Where that might be good for legitimate business transactions, it creates nightmares when in the hands of inexperienced consumers and unauthorized purchases. Here are some of the common ways that your kids can spend money online:

• Music and Ringtones. The biggest appeal to kids is having a cool ringtone or being able to share their favorite new song with friends. These are usually extremely easy to download on cell phones.
• App-Traps. Many software designers make their money by issuing free versions of their games and apps. While playing, there are certain features and upgrades which will allow the user to get ahead or advance more rapidly; for a price, of course.
• Online Gambling. Gambling online feels a lot more like a game than it does real gambling. Consequently, wins and losses from online gambling don’t often register in the mind of a kid who has linked his bank account or yours to a gambling site.
• Internet Shopping. Sayings about “a kid in a candy store” could not be more realistic than what happens if your child gains access to being able to purchase items online.

Quick Tips

1. Make certain that your cell phone services provider blocks purchases by unauthorized users.
2. Block the phones of your kids from being able to make purchases online.
3. Do not allow kids to have access to your bank cards and bank accounts.

 

Risk #7: Believing a False Authority

There is a tendency to want to believe in the good of humanity and it seems like a character flaw not to. We don’t like to be considered as being too suspicious or teach our children to be that way. The fact is that the innocence of the world has been lost in this respect, especially on the internet. In essence, anyone can claim to be anyone and intimidate you or your children into following their instructions. Doing so can lead to drastic results. Here are some ways in which believing a false authority on the internet can cause harm:

• Phishing. This is accomplished through emails, texts or false websites that look official and seem to have an official tone to them. Their purpose is to obtain personal, vital information like SSN, license, bank account, credit card number, debit card PINs and passwords so that they can exploit you.
• False Employment. This is another way that personal information can be obtained on a seemingly innocent, convenient, online job application. This can also be used to lure individuals into abduction.
• False Giveaways. Similar to false employment, this approach promises free items or coupons to individuals who provide them with certain personal information and/or come to a certain location where the giveaway is taking place.
• Posing as a Friend. Your friends don’t usually ask you for personal information, if they do, then it is probably not your friend, but someone posing as your friend.

Quick Tips

1. Teach your kids to be suspicious of anyone and everyone on the internet.
2. Monitor the online activity of your kids. Check their email folders, including their spam folders, to see what sorts of scams they are being exposed to and expose those scams and their consequences to them.
3. Be sure that privacy setting on all devices in your home are set to block spam, malware and pop-ups.

 

Risk #8: Misinformation

Part of the reason you allow your kids to navigate the dangerous world of the internet is to provide them with access to information that enhances their education. However, there are individuals who are ill-informed and pass along bad information as well as individuals who intentionally mislead people while posing as an authoritative source. Misinformation can have long-lasting consequences and cause people to react in ways that harm themselves or others around them. Some examples are:

• Social Misinformation. Reports of a crisis or social event can cause unreasonable outrage or panic.
• Medical or Health Misinformation. Using medical or health care information that is not accurate can cause illness, injury or lead to deadly consequences.
• Legal Misinformation. This sort of misinformation can be the foundation of a legal action or cause some individuals to commit a crime.
• Financial Misinformation. Having inaccurate financial information can have an enormous monetary impact.
• Personal Misinformation. This is known as libel or slander and can lead to legal action, even for those who were not the originator of the misinformation.

Quick Tips

1. Teach your kids to question what they read, hear and see on the internet.
2. Teach your children the importance of fact checking and various methods of fact checking.
3. Follow up and fact check sites that your kids visit on a frequent basis as well as sources that they use when studying online.

 

Risk #9: Internet Overload

The internet is addictive, especially social media sites that are designed in such a manner that provide a person with an avenue to acceptance and involvement with others. However, even too much of a good thing can be harmful. Here are some of the ways that spending too much time on the internet can harm your kids:

• Poor physical fitness.
• Impatience, irritability and volatility.
• Chronic fatigue.
• Forgetfulness.
• Disconnection with family and real people.

Quick Tips

1. Set limits on the amount of time your kids are allowed to use the internet or their smartphones. Take them away for social occasions and meals. It won’t hurt them.
2. Encourage physical activities, family activities and social activities and ban smartphones at those events.
3. Unplug your WiFi overnight.

 

Risk #10: Blue Light Dangers

Though not specifically related to internet content, blue light exposure is an issue because it tends to draw kids into overexposure to it. Blue light is a specific type of artificial light that emits from computer monitors, cell phones and television screens. Recent studies have brought to light the dangers of blue light. A recent Harvard study has exposed the dangers of blue light exposure reporting that “blue light can affect your sleep and potentially cause disease.” The effects of blue light are most often associated with interruptions to sleep patterns as well as the quality and length of REM sleep. Because blue light tends to reduce your body’s production of melatonin, there are a host of associated health conditions which can be a consequence, such as:

• Insomnia and other Sleep Disorders.
• Behavior and Mood Disorders.
• Higher Risk of Cancer.
• Cardiovascular Issues.
• Obesity.

Quick Tips

1. Limit the amount of time your kids spend in front of computer monitors, cell phones and televisions.
2. Make certain that blue light emitting devices are turned off and remain off for at least an hour before bedtime. Take them away if you have to.
3. Set a good example and turn your device off as well.

 

 

Five Practices for Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

Besides identifying landmines in a minefield, marking their location and sending in explosives experts to remove them is another part of the process of insuring troop safety. Their work requires a well-organized plan, which they practice over and over again as the military unit encounters new minefields and new types of land mines.

In the first section of our guide, we provided you with some quick tips for addressing the ten specific risks we described. This section of our guide for keeping your kids safe online is aimed at providing you with five practices or habits that you need to get into for making certain that your kids are safe and not exposing themselves to the risks we discussed. These measures are not something that you do once and then forget about; they are active practices that you need to execute and update on a frequent basis.

 

1st Practice: Know How Your Kids Use the Internet

In order to know what to monitor and where potential landmines might pop up, you have to consider what devices they are using for access, where they are going once they log in, and how your kids use the internet. There are some statistical tendencies that you need to be aware of as well as the specific risks that are often associated with various devices and activities. Educating yourself in all of these areas will enhance the quality of your monitoring.

Smartphones and Tablets

The smartphone revolution has placed mobile devices of all sorts in the hands of younger and younger kids. In one sense, these are a source of monitoring and communication with your kids, but they present a danger because they are out of your reach at certain times of the day or night. These devices have the same access to internet sites and your kids can encounter the same dangers with them, if not more so. Among the greatest dangers involved is the use of public WiFi where hackers have readier access to being able to hack user accounts and mine user data. Here is how your kids are using their smartphones and tablets:

• Phone calls.
• Downloading music, ringtones and apps.
• Text messaging.
• Instant messaging.
• Search engines.
• Social media sites.
• Gaming.
• Video Chatting.
• Video streaming.
• Live streaming.

 

Home Computers and Laptops

You have a whole lot more control over what your kids are doing on the computers and laptops you have in your home. For one, you can set the computer up in a common area where everyone can see what sort of things your kids are getting into. One of the worst things you can do is to provide your kids with a computer or laptop in their room where they have access around the clock without your knowledge. Here is what kids are doing on home computers and laptops:

• Text messaging.
• Instant messaging.
• Search engines.
• School assignments and homework.
• Social media sites.
• Gaming.
• Video Chatting.
• Video streaming.
• Live streaming.
• Downloading music, photos and videos.

 

Game Consoles

You probably had game consoles when you were a kid. Game consoles in the 80s and 90s did not have the capacity to go online where a person could engage in multi-user gaming. For more than a decade, gaming consoles have allowed for multi-user gaming over the internet. Advancements in gaming platforms allow kids to compete with or against other kids from across the world. While playing, they can often chat using text, speech, and/or video. Here is what your kids are doing on gaming consoles:

• Playing games.
• In-game video chat.
• In-game video messaging.
• Browsing the web.
• Search engines.
• Social media.
• Purchasing upgrades and in-game enhancements.

Smart TVs

Just like gaming consoles, televisions in the last decade have had the capacity to access the internet as well. Smart TVs have developed to the point that there is a blurring of the boundary between the use of a television and the use of a computer. Consequently, smart TVs are being used for many of the same ways as home computers and laptops. Here is what your kids are doing on smart TVs:

• Watching television and movies.
• Browsing the web.
• Search engines.
• Social media.
• Gaming.
• Purchasing upgrades and in-game enhancements.

Computers Outside the Home

Security of these computers can be either extremely high or non-existent, depending upon where your kids are accessing computers outside you home. Schools and libraries tend to have pretty strict access restriction and firewalls that prevent kids from the worst dangers of the internet. However, you kids can also gain access to computers in the homes of their friends who might have parents that are not concerned with monitoring content. Kids access and do the same things on these computers as they do on your home computer or laptop.

Devices and Risks Change

Be aware that new devices have to be setup with proper security and parental control updates. New technologies allow advanced forms of access with each device as well. In addition, activities that did not interest your kids a few months ago might have become a new interest. Because of these factors, knowing how your kids use the internet is a state of flux and the potential risks are also fluid.

2nd Practice: Check Into the Apps Your Kids Are Using

Besides knowing how kids are accessing the internet and what sorts of activities they are engaged in, a responsible parent will want to do some investigating into what sorts of activities and risks your kid might encounter while using individual apps. Let’s examine a few popular apps to give you an idea of what your kids might encounter as well as a methodology for investigating and determining whether an app is appropriate for your kids.

Wishbone

This is a social media network where members post images and ask the community to compare them. Examples of comparisons are: “Who’s hottest?” Which do you prefer?” “Would you rather…?”

What you can do in this app:

• Follow and be followed.
• Private message.
• Comment on other posts.
• Vote on photos.

Possible risks involved include:

• Trolling.
• Bullying.
• Grooming.
• Privacy issues.
• Sexual content.

Snap Chat

This is one of the more popular instant messaging apps for kids. Supposedly, messages are instantly deleted after they have been viewed, which provides a sense of security, but you have to wonder if they really are. There is a map feature on this app that allows users to track and be tracked using their smartphone’s GPS.

What you can do in this app:

• Private messages.
• Group chat.
• Send and receive videos and images.
• Add users.

Possible risks involved include:

• Bullying.
• Grooming.
• Privacy issues.
• Interaction with strangers.
• Sexting
• Location sharing.

Minecraft

This is a smartphone or mobile addition of the popular online game. In it, users build a virtual world and then visit each other in their worlds to combat or play together.

What you can do in this app:

• Messaging.
• Group chat.
• Adding and inviting people.

Possible risks involved include:

• Bullying.
• Grooming.
• Privacy issues.
• Interaction with strangers.
• In-app purchasing.

Omegle

This app randomly chooses another user with which you can engage in a video or audio chat. Users can choose to be anonymous or bring things out in the open. It is uncensored, so pretty much anything can be encountered on this app.

What you can do in this app:

• Video chat.
• Audio chat.

Possible risks involved include:

• Trolling.
• Grooming.
• Privacy issues.
• Interaction with strangers.
• Inappropriate content.
• Sexual content.

Twitch

This is a video gaming site with live streaming. While playing games, users can broadcast themselves and engage in chats with other players. The conversations are unmonitored, rude language is common and games that are only suitable for adults are often being streamed.

What you can do in this app:

• Follow and be followed.
• Private message.
• Video live stream.
• Post comments.

Possible risks involved include:

• Trolling.
• Bullying.
• Grooming.
• Privacy issues.
• Adult content.
• In-app purchasing.

Live.Ly

This app is a combination of social networking with video streaming. Teens find this site extremely popular. Users make use of live stream broadcasting and real-time comments. Group chats are common and peer pressure and dares are often used to get broadcasters to do inappropriate things during their broadcast.

What you can do in this app:

• Follow and be followed.
• Private message.
• Comment on other posts.
• Group chat.
• Live video broadcasting and streaming.

Possible risks involved include:

• Trolling.
• Bullying.
• Grooming.
• Privacy issues.
• Interaction with strangers.
• Inappropriate language and content.
• Sexual content.

These few sites that we explored should motivate you to take a closer look at what your kids are being exposed to within the apps they use. What might seem innocent on the surface can rapidly morph into something dangerous.

3rd Practice: Explore the Internet with Your Kids

By simply turning on the computer and walking away while your kids dive into the online world could be compared to taking them to Times Square, walking away, and hoping that they are still there when you come to get them for supper. You should never leave your child completely unguided concerning the use of the internet. One of the best ways to teach and reinforce safety is to explore the internet with your kids and educate them about the dangers as you do. Here are some of the topics to point out and discuss as you explore with your kids:

• Maintaining privacy.
• Stranger dangers.
• Cyberbullies.
• Inappropriate content.
• Sexting.

Have them take you on a tour of the various sites they like to visit. Learn what appeals to them and look for potential dangers within those sites. If you discover sites that are too risky for your kids to be using, prohibit those sites and explain your reasoning behind it. Keep in mind that this needs to be a frequent activity if you want to be certain that your kids are engaging in safe internet practices.

4th Practice: Set and Maintain Limits

Besides prohibiting your children from entering certain site that you deem to be unsafe, you need set and maintain internet use limits. Those limits will need to be applied to the various devices upon which your kids access the internet. Setting privacy setting and firewalls is a good start, but you can go a lot further with additional parental controls that block access to certain classifications of sites and searches as well as blocking specific sites. Setting this limits will vary from one device to another, so we need to explore each of them individually.

Smartphones and Tablets

There are native parental controls built into smartphones and tablets that you can take advantage of. Included among their controls are:

• Blocking spending on music, ringtones, apps, and in-game purchases.
• Block location sharing.
• Restrict searches for inappropriate content.
• Prevent music, image, video and app downloads.

Additional third party services can provide even more safety. Some services provided come with free versions of the parental control features and others require a premium subscription. Among the added features of these third party services are:

• Managing and monitoring who kids call and text.
• Restrict access to specific types of sites.
• Select which apps can be used and set time limits.
• Set limits on when kids are able to use their devices and for what length of time.
• Provide analytical data of browsing habits.

Home Computers and Laptops

All home computers and laptops have the capacity to setup firewalls as well as privacy and security restrictions. Operating systems allow you to set up a user account for each individual in your household and assign different levels of privacy and browsing restrictions for each one. These settings will eliminate most of the basic issues that threaten security and provide safe browsing. However, not all content or search results will be blocked by these measures. Your kids can still access social media sites and other locations where risks are still present.

Third party services will take things a step further and allow you control over the same risks as we mentioned above, including:

• Managing and monitoring who kids call and text.
• Restrict access to specific types of sites.
• Select which apps can be used and set time limits.
• Set limits on when kids are able to use their devices and for what length of time.
• Provide analytical data of browsing habits.

You will want to setup and apply safety restrictions to the social media accounts of your kids as well if you hope to thoroughly protect them from potential dangers. You can control profile information, sharing and commenting restrictions, following, friend approvals and friend requests, current location settings, and live video and audio streaming.

Gaming Consoles

Major gaming consoles also come with parental controls. Most of them can be setup right out of the box and others have to be downloaded and added into the configuration of the console. Some of the common controls that gaming consoles feature are:

• Blocking age restricted games from being played.
• Restrict or prevent in-game communication.
• Prohibit access to social networks.
• Monitor and limit the length of time games can be played.

Smart TVs

Smart TVs are designed to allow you access to Pay-Per-View programming that is either made available through your cable or satellite provider or via online streaming. Parental controls for programming are typically a part of the TV’s programming and are easy to set and assign a password and/or PIN to allow you complete control.

Controlling programs that are streamed through the internet connection is a little bit more difficult, but not impossible. All of the major streaming sites also provide some parental controls, but they are somewhat limited. This is probably going to be an area where you will need to provide greater hands-on supervision over what your kids are watching.

WiFi Access

You probably were not aware that there are parental controls that can be set within your WiFi router. Essentially, these parental controls allow you to filter certain types of inappropriate content from passing through your router. This gives you in-home control of inappropriate content regardless of which device you kids are using. Third party services can also provide you with parental controls that are WiFi resident. Another option is to simply unplug or turn off the router to gain control when necessary or prohibit WiFi use during the night when you are unable to monitor your kids’ usage.

5th Practice: Set a Good Example

All of the efforts that you go through to protect your kids from the dangers of the internet are worthless if you do not set a good example. Your kids learn best from what you practice personally. If you are engaged in unsafe online practices, your kids are going to follow suit. If you talk regularly about safe online practices and practice them as well, your kids are more apt to follow your advice and your example.

Another aspect of setting a good example is to be consistent with safe internet practices with all of your kids regardless of their age. Teach them the proper usage of the internet from the beginning and reinforce it as they grow and have more access to various types of content.

Quick Summary

There is a wealth of information and wholesome entertainment to be had on the internet. The various risks and dangers are a real threat to your kids and need to be guarded against. The first step in providing internet safety to your kids is being aware of and identifying the various potential risks your kids could encounter on the internet. Here is a quick summary of the ten risks we discussed:

• Risk #1: Sharing Personal Information
• Risk #2: Cyberbullying
• Risk #3: Online Grooming
• Risk #4: Harmful Content
• Risk #5: Sexting
• Risk #6: Spending Money
• Risk #7: Believing a False Authority
• Risk #8: Misinformation
• Risk #9: Internet Overload
• Risk #10: Blue Light Dangers

Identifying the risks and dangers your children might stumble upon or be lured into are not enough to keep your kids safe on the internet. As a parent, you have to implement a set of frequent practices to help make certain that your kids can navigate the internet world without being harmed. Here is a summary of the five practices we discussed.

• 1st Practice: Know How Kids Use the Internet
• 2nd Practice: Know the Apps Your Children Are Using
• 3rd Practice: Explore the Internet with Your Children
• 4th Practice: Set and Maintain Limits
• 5th Practice: Set a Good Example

Any responsible parent will feel obligated to rise up to the challenge of keeping their kids safe online. Making use of our internet safety guide for parents you can identify, mark and disarm the internet landmines that are a potential danger to your kids. Keep up-to-date on potential new risks, and apply the practices we have provided to design a safety plan for your family, and you can minimize or entirely eliminate the dangers and keep your kids safe online.

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