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Have you realized that as technology takes a more active role in our lives, your kids are more likely to be the victim of a digital crime than a physical one?
Today, the internet is a huge part of kids’ lives: Apps, streaming TV, wearables, social media, game consoles, even their nightlights can be connected to the internet!
But sadly, the same old – and still dangerous – scams are everywhere. Kids don’t approach using the web with the caution that we do.
When a stranger looks and acts just like a friend, they can be hard to spot. Kids only see a screen that reacts to their button taps, innocently unaware of the invisible risks at play.
Your kids will be using the internet their entire lives. As parents, you’ll want them to cruise the cyber highways confidently educated in the ways of the digital world and empowered to protect themselves.
Talk to the little ones in your life by using these safety tips for nurturing healthy internet habits.
1. The internet is forever
Everything you post online is permanent, even if you delete it! Think twice before uploading pictures, videos, and posting comments that you, your family, or friends may regret later.
2. Be kind. Be respectful
You’re entitled to sharing your opinions and beliefs. When you share, don’t be rude. Respect people when they share. It’s too easy to be mean online, always take the high road.
3. Be careful who you trust
Not everyone is who they say you are. It’s easy for bad people to pretend they are someone else. Never make plans to meet with someone you don’t know without involving your parents.
4. Avoid oversharing
Be extra careful to never share any personal information online. This includes your full name, home address, email address, date of birth, current location, and phone number.
5. Protect your privacy
Learn where the privacy settings are on each website and app you use, and adjust them all to their highest settings. Get in the practice of always doing this.
6. Keep your passwords secret
Never share your passwords with anyone other than your parents. Use a trusted password manager program to help organize and remember your online user IDs and passwords.
7. Always be cautious
If you see or hear anything online that makes you uncomfortable, stop interacting with the app or website, and speak to a trusted adult about it right away.
8. Security is essential
Even when we do everything correctly, it’s still possible to fall victim to digital criminals. You’re safer if they can’t see what you’re doing online or take control of your devices. Use a security and privacy app to keep your activity and devices secure.
Use these tips as springboards to ongoing conversations with your children. Check in on their digital life as you check in on their school days and other aspects of their lives. Show them that this is an area of serious concern, but one that can be easily managed with proper online habits, smart choices, and good communication.