Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

Protect your kids online

The world is changing quickly. New technologies, software, and applications are springing up all the time, and often times parents don’t even know about their existence — until some news story appears, detailing how it’s been used for some nefarious purpose. In order to better protect your kids online, here are a few Internet safety tips for parents to keep kids safe in cyberspace.

After the Fact. Sadly, sometimes the issue of Internet safety only comes up in terms of damage control: a news story breaks about cyber-bullying, or online sexual predators, or sexual/violent content that’s found its way into the hands of minors. When this happens, sit down with your kids and have a frank and honest discussion about these issues. Nothing is improved if you hide your head in the sand or try to insulate your children from these topics as they crop up. They will hear about these things. Better they hear it from you, and get the right context to help them make good choices in the future.

As It Happens. Most pre-teens and teens today have almost constant access to the Internet, whether through their smartphones, tablets, or any number of computers at home, school, or work. Do you know what they’re downloading? If you suspect your kids may be venturing into virtual territory best left unexplored, you can take action. There are many great examples of Android and iPhone monitoring software, to track or even limit their online exposure. For your home machines, make sure your settings are optimized for parental control for Internet sites, apps, and even general content.

Before It Even Happens. Perhaps one of the best Internet safety tips for parents is this: try to know what’s out there before your kids do. These days, it can be hard to stay ahead of your children in terms of technical know-how and Internet savvy, but you owe it to their safety (and your peace of mind) to try. Subscribe to the tech blogs, join parenting forums, and ask the questions you need to ask, so you can be ready to when your kids “discover” the next big app.

There is a single, shining thread running through each of the above recommendations: communication. Kids who feel comfortable talking to their parents about these things are far less likely to get into online trouble. Be sure to be the kind of parent your kids rely on for useful and timely information. Don’t preach. Talk. Share. Let them know you’re on their side, no matter what, and that you will do whatever you have to do to keep them safe.

Do you have any helpful tips for Internet safety to share? Feel free to leave them in comments section below, and help provide Internet safety tips for parents everywhere. Find more on this here: