Kids online safety

Released: July 19, 2023 at 8:26 a.m.

Kids today can go online from so many different sources, including video game consoles, tablets, smart phones and even handheld gaming devices. Young people are increasingly living their lives online and their digital devices are some of their favorite toys and tools. Teaching internet safety in the elementary years will have lasting rewards for you and your kids. 

Internet Safety Basics

  • Never share their names, schools, ages, phone numbers, or addresses
  • Never send pictures to strangers
  • Keep passwords private (except to parents)
  • Never open email from strangers – it may contain viruses that can harm a computer
  • Immediately tell an adult if something mean or creepy happens

Strategies for a safer online life

  • Visit only age-appropriate sites. Check out the site before your kids visit it. Know what features and what content exist and make sure they’re good for your kids
  • Search safely. Use safe search settings for young kids or think about applying filtering software to limit appropriate exposure
  • Avoid strangers. Tell your kids that people aren’t always who they say they are in cyberspace. Explain that if someone they don’t know talks to them, they shouldn’t respond but should always let you know
  • Be a good cyber citizen! Remind kids that an internet playground is still a playground and they need to play nicely. A good rule of thumb: if they wouldn’t do something in real life, they shouldn’t do it online
  • Keep the computer in a central place so you could see what’s going on
  • Establish expectations and limits about the amount of time your children spend online and what they do
  • View your own habits carefully. You are their role models
  • Be involved and have fun with them! Start by showing interest in the sites they visit and the games they place and your job will be a lot easier when they start exploring these technologies more independently
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