We're kicking off summer vacation with some tips and tricks to help keep your kids safe online. Our team of IT and security experts are here to help keep your family safe, as it is now more important than ever to talk to your child about staying safe online. Please discuss these online risks with them so they know how to avoid or report threats.
Start the Conversation Around Online Safety
It may be difficult to talk to your child about what they are doing online. The sites they are visiting and who they are talking to can be a challenge to understand. As adults, we may be a little out of touch with this world. The NSPCC dives more into how to talk to your child about online safely and even addresses how your child may feel talking about it.
More than 59% of US teenagers have experienced cyberbullying or harassment online (Pew Research Center). Cyberbullying is a worldwide problem and only continues to grow worse. Encourage children to watch for red flags and to tell a parent, guardian or other trusted adult if anyone asks them to engage in sexual activity or other inappropriate behavior.
Screen Time, Managing Devices and Setting Rules
It is important to understand what your children are doing online and help them develop a healthy relationship with technology. Asking them questions such as what sites, apps and games they use regularly can be a great way to start a conversation and help you identify any risks in what your child is doing online or who they may be talking to.
- Set limits on screen time
- Establish rules and guidelines around devices
- Use screen-time management apps
- Create screen-free zones in your house
- Monitor the red flags indicating kids are addicted to screens
- Track phone usage with apps
- Balance technology with other activities
Set Up Password Protection
Help your child set up password protection before using a device. This will keep anyone except you and your child from using it or accessing personal information stored on it. It is also important to discuss location settings on devices as children may be unaware that locations can be shared through online interactions.
What Parents Can do to Keep Their Kids Safe Online
- Keep devices in a common area of the home to monitor their activity
- Check browser history frequently
- Use security software or tools
- Activate privacy features through your browser or internet service provider
- Know what other computers or devices your child is using
- Know your children's passwords
- Watch for changes in your child's behavior that may indicate cyberbullying or contact with an online predator
Children are like sponges and tend to absorb everything adults do or say. How you act and the things you say can influence children. Setting a good example around technology is important.
Device Etiquette Tips:
- Speak softly and be considerate
- Know when not to use your phone
- Discuss appropriate times to use devices
- Phones are things, people are real
- Privacy matters
Stats on Technology Distractions and Teens
- 57% of all teens agree that using social media often distracts them when they should be doing homework
- 54% of teen social media users agree that it often distracts them when they should be paying attention to the people they’re with
- 29% of teen smartphone owners say they’ve been woken up by their phones during the night by a call, text, or notification
- 42% of teens agree that social media has taken away from time they could spend in person with friends