Know The Rules
It’s important for parents to understand online risks and keep up with new technologies, apps and trends. This will help parents establish rules that their kids will accept as reasonable.
Children should chat only with people they know in person, make sure their online accounts are private and avoid sharing photos or videos that could identify them. They should also be alert to the fact that online people aren’t always who they appear, and trust their instincts if something makes them uncomfortable.
Keep An Open Dialogue
While tools like parental controls can be helpful, nothing replaces an open and honest discussion about online safety. This should begin as soon as children start accessing the Internet on a computer, smartphone or video game console.
Explain that everything they do and say on the Internet leaves behind a digital footprint, including photos, comments, usernames and other information about them. Teach them that this can be used to identify them, contact them, or even share embarrassing stories about them.
Be A Role Model
It is important for parents to monitor their children’s online activities and to keep communication channels open. This way, they can let you know if something happens online that upsets them or scares them. For example, younger children may play games with older teen players who can bully them or expose them to adult content.
The Internet can be a great place to find educational materials, fun games and connections with people all over the world. However, it is important to remember that it also has the potential for many bad things including inappropriate content and cyberbullying.
Calm, open and regular conversations about online use are key to teaching kids appropriate and safe behavior while online. Being a role model is also essential as kids are more likely to trust their parents and tell them when something is not right online if they feel that they are being trusted.