For students, the internet is a great tool for connecting with friends, researching, and doing homework. It can also be a dangerous place, filled with serious risks such as online predators, cyber bullies, and internet scams. Thankfully, with a little knowledge and precautions, you and your children can stay safe on the internet.
If you have children or teens in the home and using the internet, the safety guidelines you put in place will positively impact their safety as well as their online safety. Here are some important tips for internet safety.
Parents Lead the Way in Internet Safety
To keep kids safe online, you must be involved and take an active role in how the computer and other internet devices are used in your home and family. Consider these tips just for parents.
- Keep computer and internet device usage in the open and in communal areas such as the living room.
- Install computer safety programs that restrict usage and filter websites.
- Set up alerts if usage goes beyond certain set boundaries.
- Take all incidents of bullying seriously and report it to the authorities.
- Always report suspicious activity or threats of self-harm.
- Have regular talks with your kids and ask the hard questions about what they are doing on the internet.
- Set and enforce internet safety rules.
Important Internet Safety Tips for Children and Teens
When used safely the internet provides a lot of value. The problem is, many kids just do not realize that what they do could put them in serious danger. Consider implementing these rules.
- Do not give out any personal information about your name, birthdate, current or past locations, or the school you attend.
- Do not use personal information such as names or birth date as part of your screen name.
- Use online screen names that do not identify you as male or female.
- Choose complex passwords and never share them.
- Do not send or share photos of yourself, your family or friends without checking with your parents first.
- Before sharing pictures, make sure there is no identifying information in the background.
- No matter how close you become online with someone, never agree to meet in person.
- Talk to your parents if an online friend suggests meeting in person.
- If something about the person or conversation does not feel right, tell your parents immediately. Trust your instincts.
- Tell your parents about inappropriate or threatening messages.
- Never download anything without permission.
- Never shop online without permission.
- Do not engage in online fights.
- Never send messages that could be considered mean-spirited or threatening.
- Never use the internet to make anyone feel sad or scared or to encourage others to engage in bullying.
- Report bullying to your parents immediately.
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All Action Alarm is a family owned business that has been protecting Long Island and New York City homes and businesses since 1980.