We’re all well-aware that the internet can be a dark and dangerous place, which is why it’s really important that we teach internet safety for kids. Here are some things about online safety that we should teach our children, as compiled from Parent Herald, uKnowKids, and SafeKids.
1. Don’t give out personal information
Kids shouldn’t give out information like their address, telephone number, etc. unless they have your permission.
2. Everything you post on the internet stays there
Everything you post on the internet—from photos to videos to text—stays there. People can download, take screencaps, or share anything you post, so you should practice discretion.
3. Don’t cyberbully
The anonymity of the internet encourages rude and harmful behaviour. Teach your children that they can do a lot of harm with their online behaviour, that their actions have consequences.
4. Don’t interact with people you don’t know
If your child gets messages from people they don’t know, they shouldn’t respond or click on any attachments. Let your child know that strangers on the internet aren’t always who they seem to be.
5. Don’t share your passwords with anyone but your parents
Your children need to learn how to protect their privacy, but at the same time, you should be able to monitor their activities.
6. Don’t click on ads
This not only protects your child from inappropriate content but also safeguards your computer from malware.
7. Don’t download or install anything without your parents’ permission
Like the previous item, this is mainly to keep your computer safe and your personal information secure.
8. Not everything on the internet is true
This is something that even adults need to take note of: anyone can make a webpage and fill it with whatever they want, and so everything on the internet should be taken with a grain of salt.
9. Know the dangers of internet pornography
Before you start letting your child surf on the internet by themselves, you should sit them down and talk to them about the dangers of pornography. You don’t have to go into detail, and of course, you should stay age-appropriate with your wording, but it’s important that they know the dangers of pornography. Your child isn’t mature enough to process pornography, it isn’t for their eyes, and could have harmful long-term effects on their attitudes on sexuality. Teach them how they should respond when they see something they shouldn’t (see next item).
10. Tell an adult if you see something inappropriate
When your child comes across something inappropriate unintentionally, they shouldn’t feel ashamed. Instead, they should turn the computer off and tell an adult. This is important so that they don’t get bogged down with feelings of guilt. They should also tell you if they come across something that just feels off—if it makes them feel uncomfortable, they should let you know.