As a mother there are things that will always worry you about your child, that is just part of being a mom. Always making worrying about things that have to do with your kids. However, there are some things that you can do as a mom to help you worry less about your kids. Teaching them internet safety tips is a big one in today’s time. Whether your kids are just using it to look up information for reports for school or use it daily to talk to friends, safety tips are very important. Don’t let assuming your kids know what to do and what not to do stop you from talking to them about what they should do.
Important tips your kids should know:
1. Never give out personal information. Make sure your kids know that even giving out just there first name is not ok. It doesn’t matter if that name is a commonly used one. They should not give it out. They also should not give out the name of the city/town they leave in.
2. Anyone can lie. Teach your kids that people on the internet could be some one they say they are not. Just because the person they are talking to says they are the same age does not mean they are.
3. If they see or read anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or they know they shouldn’t they need to tell you right away. Make sure that if they come to you with something like this that you do not punish them for it. If they are coming to you with it then they are doing the right thing. If it is a site you don’t want your kids on then block it from your computer. If it is a chat, find a way to report it in the chat service, all of them have ways to do this.
4. There’s no such thing as “private” on the Internet. Anything you say or send out on the Internet has a possibility of being sent out over and over again.
5. Do not share pictures with people you do not know.
6. Don’t download content without your parents’ permission.
There are many more tips out there that you can easily look up and teach your kids, but the most important thing is that you as the parent monitor what your child is doing online. Keeping the computer in a family shared area of the house will help. Telling your kids not to be online when you aren’t in the house with them. There are also many parental control downloads you can add to your computer to block sites and keep track of what your family does online.
“Anytime my son wants to join a website whether it be for games or chatting. I make sure to make my own account on it first so that I can fully check it out before deciding whether I will allow him to use it or not.” Said Mia Smith, Oklahoma City stay at home mom of one.
Just because your child says their friends use the site or that is is listed as a child only site does not always mean that it is safe for your child. Make sure to check it out yourself. They will also still need to make sure that they follow the Internet safety tips when using sites that are meant for only kids. Anyone can join those sites. Just because they are supposed to be kids does not mean they are.