Home security systems are used to keep your family physically safe but what can you do to keep your loved ones safe online? As a parent, it can be difficult to keep up with the changes in technologies that your kids are using. We asked celebrated blogger, Lisa Jorgensen, from the parenting blog Making Life Blissful to share her tips and help us build a parent internet safety tips guide to keep your kids safe in 2018.
Stay In the Open
Keeping your family computer in a family room is very important. This way you are able to see what your children are doing on the computer without having to check on them. In the same way you keep an eye on your busy toddler, keep an eye on your child who is using the internet.
Learn the Internet Yourself
The internet is constantly changing but it’s important to keep up with it because your children probably are. Each new generation of children seem to be more and more technologically advanced. In order to know what your kids are dealing with, you must have an idea of how to work the internet yourself. You’ll be able to talk with them about it better if you are internet savvy and understand the jargon.
Watch Out for the “Good Sites”
Even with regular sites like Amazon.com, Facebook, and YouTube, a child can easily get lost into unwanted territory. A recent study showed that children are only 3 clicks away from inappropriate content on YouTube. Keep adult apps off the devices your children use. Even if they usually just play the games, they may sometime wander into the wrong apps when you aren’t watching.
Have a Family Plan
As parents we talk to our kids about drugs and drunk driving, and now it’s time to have regular and frank conversations about the dangers of the internet. They need to know about online predators, cyber bullying, pornography, and sexting. As a family, create a safety plan about what to do in a bad internet situation. Here are some ideas for starters:
- Have them immediately shut down their device and come talk to you if they see something that makes them uncomfortable or feel bad.
- Share passwords. Always keep track of their passwords and accounts. Be open about it, so they know you are there to help protect them and watch over them. It’s not prying or babying them. It’s helping them.
- Limit their internet use (and yours). Have a scheduled time that they can use it when you are around and aware.
- Keep their devices for them. When it’s not their “internet time” parents should keep track of the device and put it safely away. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Install safety software and apps on your computers and devices. Use passwords to keep them out of sites. There are tons of options out there for this kind of thing. Use it.
Keep the conversations going with your children. Stay involved in their lives. Be there for them. Have fun with them and get them talking. Let them know you are always there for them and ready to help. Having open communication with your children will be vital if/when an internet problem comes along.
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Lisa Jorgensen runs a family lifestyle blog called Making Life Blissful. She believes in finding peace in the journey and that parenthood is not about perfection–sometimes it’s about surviving (with a smile). She’s a big believer in keeping children safe so they can enjoy childhood to the fullest. Her blog is full of realistic family activities, kid crafts, delicious recipes, and useful life lessons