The Internet is a wonderful place for learning and entertainment, but can pose dangers if precautions are not taken. Allowing free access puts your child, your
computer and your personal data at risk. Help to instill good judgment in your children by encouraging them to take some common sense steps.
Take security precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and enjoy the benefits of the Internet. For more information on how you can fight cybercrime, go to the Stop. Think. Connect. website.
Help your kids own their online presence
When available, set their privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. Remind them that it’s okay to limit how and with whom they share information.
When in doubt, throw it out
Remind your children that links in emails, tweets, posts and online ads are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or mark as junk email.
Know your protection features
All major Internet service providers have tools to help you manage young children’s online experience (e.g., selecting approved websites, monitoring the amount of time they spend online, or limiting the people who can contact them) and may have other security features.
Be positively engaged
Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use. Surf the Internet with them. Appreciate your children’s participation in their online communities and show interest in their friends. Try to react constructively when they encounter inappropriate material. Make it a teachable moment.
Teach critical thinking
Help your children identify safe, credible websites and applications. Encourage them to be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting, and uploading content.
Explain the implications
Help your children understand the public nature of the Internet and its risks as well as benefits. Be sure they know that any digital info they share, such as emails, photos, or videos, can easily be copied and pasted elsewhere, and is almost impossible to take back. Things that could damage their reputation, friendships, or future prospects should not be shared electronically.
Empower your children to handle problems
Teach your children to handle problems such as bullying, unwanted contact, or hurtful comments. Work with them on strategies for when problems arise, such as talking to a trusted adult, not retaliating, blocking the person, or filing a complaint. Agree on steps to take if the strategy fails.