Parenting and Internet Safety

Aug 06, 2015

Let’s face it, the world is very different than it was 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. The emergence of the Internet and accessibility of mobile devices has changed the way that children interact with each other and the world.

The dangers that kids face today while online are new to most parents, and require parents to be “digital” parents alongside the role of “real world” parents.  Some new threats that most of parents never faced as children include:

  • Online reputation maintenance and revealing too much personal information
  • Cyberbullying
  • Exposure to inappropriate or unwanted content
  • Internet predators
  • Time wasting apps and games

Parents need to be aware of these threats and vigilant in ensuring that these things don’t create a negative impact in the lives of their children. Below are 4 simple suggestions to help parents in the digital world.

  1. Know what your kids are doing online. This involves asking question, installing reporting software, and being “snoopy”. Just like your Mom asked “who are you talking to on the phone?” parents should do the same with the Internet.
  2. Learn about new technologies and apps. If your kids are using tech and apps that you don’t know anything about, then it’s likely they are doing things or are being exposed to things that you “don’t know anything about.”
  3. Put protection software in place. The Internet is so vast and full of information that most kids will be exposed to content that you don’t want them to see, even without trying. Content Filtering solutions can help prevent unwanted exposure and help keep kids out our mischief when they get curious.
  4. Talk with your kids about Internet Safety. Make rules in your home, bring up the topic frequently. Make it a topic you are comfortable talking about.

As a parent you should be equally concerned with Internet safety, as you are with real world safety. I encourage you to be active and informed about current issues and technologies. This will help you better understand what your children are going through in the daily lives online.

Internet safety is not going to happen by accident, it requires effort and implementation of tools to help you protect your family, and start meaningful dialogue about the threats and pressures our kids deal with online every day.