Over the past few years, screen-based technology has continued to permeate children’s lives. And more recently, we have witnessed the global pandemic usher in a much larger need for children and young people to have access to and spend more time online—from educational research, entertainment—and even communication with family and friends.
As the use of technology becomes more prevalent, parents have a critical role in ensuring children and young people use digital technologies responsibly. In celebration of Safer Internet Day (February 7), we want to share tools to support you as you navigate the ins and outs of using the internet with your children.
Check out these four useful tips that you can adopt to help your children practice internet safety and be digital role models.
Tip 1: Have Open Conversations About Internet Safety
Discuss the pros and cons of using the internet with your children. Establish clear and basic guidelines and teach them how to spot red flags or behaviors from others that seem suspicious. It’s important to have these discussions to help set digital safety ground rules together. You can use The Smart Talk to help you navigate these conversations and use the free online tool to create a family agreement.
Tip 2: Protect Other’s Privacy
As users of digital technologies, we each have a responsibility to protect the privacy of others. And while sharing content such as photos and videos may seem harmless, remind your children not to share content of others without their consent.
Tip 3: Never Share Personal Information
While it is normal for websites to ask for personal details such as your name, email address and phone number, remind your children to double-check the security of the websites they visit before entering their details to prevent this information from getting into the wrong hands.
Tip 4: Treat Others Fairly and With Respect
We are all familiar with the golden rule, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” And while it is commonly used as a principle for everyday life, the rule should also be applied while using the internet. Cyberbullying is a dangerous threat, especially among our youth. Frequently monitor your children’s online activity and encourage them to promote positivity, kindness, and support toward others.
Sarah Weatherby is a communications consultant with Sarah Weatherby Public Relations.