The internet can be a great resource for kids of all ages as they learn and explore. Online tools can provide a variety of learning opportunities for both kids and adults. It has revolutionized the way we connect, learn, and communicate. We even look to the internet for various forms of entertainment, spending time on diverse YouTube channels, usually promoted by companies such as The Marketing Heaven. Even though there are vast benefits to using the internet, it’s also vital that parents know the risks and dangers that can come with children going online. So, how can we keep our kids safe online?

The internet will remain an ever-present part of our lives. That’s why it’s so important that we teach our kids how to use the internet responsibly so they can stay safe and avoid encountering inappropriate online content, cyberbullying, and online predators. Read on to learn some helpful tips on how you can keep your child safe online. 

Talk openly about online activity

As soon as your child learns how to use the internet independently, you must discuss what types of videos, which games they’re playing, and the people with whom they are interacting online. Make a list of the websites and apps your child visits regularly. Look at them together as you create a family plan for your safe internet use. 

Educate your child

Explaining the dangers of internet use to your kids is vital. Teach children how to identify inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and signs of online predators, so they are vigilant and knowledgeable. Also, help your child understand the concept of a “digital footprint.” Children need to realize that none of their online activities are completely private, and all online actions can be tracked one way or another.

More importantly, encourage children to report any inappropriate online content or messages from strangers they may come across.

Monitor and limit your child’s computer time

An essential aspect of keeping kids safe online is establishing limits regarding the amount of time they are permitted to spend on the computer. Be sure to curb screen time to no more than two hours each day. It is recommended that you remove electronic devices from your child’s bedroom and designate electronic-free zones in your home. 

Restrict devices to only those areas where you can see them

In order to effectively monitor your child’s online activities, it is best to keep computers and other devices in areas where you can see them. For example, you may only allow devices with online access in the living room, play area, or any other communal spots around your home.

Set up parental controls. Consider setting up a family computer password and installing software that can block your child from accessing certain websites or apps. Keep the internet off in bedrooms and any other rooms in which your child doesn’t spend much time.

If possible, it’s best to keep electronics out of children’s bedrooms altogether, so there is no temptation to go online after bedtime. Doing so will make it easier for you to monitor your child’s online activity. 

Keep personal information private

Another vital tip for internet safety that children need to be taught is the importance of keeping personal information private. Children should never share or post any personal information online, such as their address, phone number, name of their school, or any other identifying information. 

Additionally, it’s important that children are not given access to your social security number or credit card information. Make sure that all online transactions are strictly restricted and only performed by you. 

Set a positive example

Learning how to exhibit appropriate online behavior starts with you. As a parent, it is your job to model the same behaviors you want your children to emulate. If you spend an abundant amount of time online, your children will likely do the same.

If you want your child to understand how to enjoy the internet but do so responsibly, we as parents must practice what we preach. Limit your own screen time and practice online safety. Be mindful when visiting websites and downloading apps.  

The internet can be a valuable resource for learning when used responsibly. Be sure to keep your little one protected from the potential dangers of going online by following these tips! 

For more helpful parenting tips, feel free to visit Cornerstone Learning Center