How to Talk to Your Children About Online Safety
Talking to Your Kids About Online Safety
ONLINE SAFETY. Unlike adults, kids have not been conditioned to the dangers that lurk online. Whether it be through sharing personal information with someone on the web or uploading controversial material. Children are putting their safety and future at risk without even knowing it. As more children are finding their way on social media sites like Instagram or Facebook, parents need to know how to protect their children.
This is where talking to your child about online safety can be a beneficial first step. Using language that your child understands and considers relevant will eliminate that barrier and allow you to have a much more open conversation about online safety. With that said, here are a few tips you can tell your child to help them understand the importance of staying secure online.
Everyone is Online
Anything that your child puts out on the web can be seen by anyone. Which means that future employers, colleges, family and even future significant others can see what they were posting when they were younger. If any of these posts are controversial, it can hinder their ability to succeed later. There is no such thing as a “first impression” these days. This is why it is important to make your children aware. Consequences down the line may be greater than expected. Be conscious and supervise the posts before the content is made public.
Many young children believe that they are invincible and that nothing bad will ever happen to them. They believe that they can post freely without judgment and that their online reputation later will be unscathed – which is untrue. Uploading controversial pictures online can affect the future of the child immensely. Jobs, colleges, or even relationships can be affected by inappropriate online postings. Talking to your child about watching what they post online can save them from a future of a poor online reputation.
Develop a Secure Password
Secure passwords are a must for anyone with an online account on any site. Since social media sites have information available about the user, it makes it easy for hackers and thieves to steal information. This can leave children vulnerable to such situations, simply because of the lack of insight about the topic. For children who have a difficult time remembering passwords, use something that is obvious to them. But not obvious for anyone else.
Use your street address and their favorite number.
Example: Main22 or Oceandrive12
Being Open with Your Children
Sharing real-life stories, no matter how bad they may be, can be eye-opening for children that are online. Being open with your children will allow them to approach you with any questions about online safety. Any future potential harassment or abuse will be minimized. Establishing an open relationship with your children is the best way to assure a safe and interactive online experience. Limiting potential all dangers that are online should be a top priority. They may start showing you everything before they upload it! Respect is a two-way street, but by monitoring your children you can save them from a lifetime of misery.
Read our recent blog our Online Reputation Management Tools you can use to better assist.