Keep your Kids Safe Online

The internet can be a wealth of knowledge for kids. It can be used for school work, for curious minds to find answers and now, more than ever, as a way to connect with friends. While it can be fun, the internet can also be dangerous so it is important to talk to your child about safe internet habits. 

Your child should never, under any circumstances exchange any personal information with someone they meet online. Keeping the computer in a common area is an easy way to help monitor what your child is searching. Phones and tablets should also be used in a common area. Sit with your child and teach them about appropriate sites and behavior. Creating bookmarks of your child’s favorite sites is a great way to help them navigate to safe sites. Monitor phone and credit card bills for any unusual charges. 

Some common signs that your child may be targeted by an online predator is more time spent online, phone calls, withdraw from family life and your child hiding the phone or turning the computer off when you walk into a room. Talk with your child about speaking up if someone makes them feel uncomfortable and remind them that people will often lie to obtain personal information. They need to understand why it is important to never give out personal information to strangers such as addresses and passwords. 

There are online tools for caregivers to set up alerts, parent control options and block certain sites. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure your child uses the internet for safe fun, entertainment and to connect with family and friends.