Safe Summer? Kids, Internet Safety and Your Role

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The internet is a magical place for sure, capable of providing endless and fun videos, games, tutorials, printables and more plus plenty of what you DON'T want for your child. That's where YOU come in.

Cyber-bullying, Facebook depression, sexting, paedophiles, scammers and exposure to inappropriate content – not what you want for your kids, right?  With kids all over the internet this summer, what’s the plan for keeping them safe? It’s a question all parents should have an answer for. The internet is a magical place for sure, capable of providing endless and fun videos, games, tutorials, printables, you name it. But kids don’t know about viruses, privacy or the depth of subjects that YOU do when it comes to being online. First and foremost, if you have a child who is old enough to be online then you need to have discussions about it. Here are some prompts:
• Discuss online safety much like you discuss safety in the outside world: people, places, things, good and bad.

• Remember that the online world runs parallel to the real world and that there are things both safe and unsafe about both.

• Come up with a mantra your kids can remember such as, “If you wouldn’t do it face to face, don’t do it online.”

• Teach them to beware of strangers: Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know just to get your numbers up. Don’t open any email attachments from someone you don’t know.• Get internet parental control software so you know what’s going on with your kids.

— Source: Internet Safety for Kids and Young Adults by Jeff Sechler

 

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Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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