National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Adults aren’t the only ones staying connected, informed and involved online. Kids are relying on the Internet more and more to connect with friends, classmates and teammates. While the web can be a helpful tool for communicating, accessing information, and even developing a sense of self and independence, there are downsides to the environment of online sharing that kids are growing up in.

Since October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we have some tips to help you keep your children safe online.

  • Be a part of your child’s online life by creating a profile on any social networking sites he/she is a part of and becoming a “friend” so you can see what he/she and his friends are talking about and sharing with each other.
  • Make sure that family dinners are device-free and have your kids leave their phones or other electronics with you before they go to bed.
  • Keep the computer in a central location such as the kitchen or family room, so you can monitor your child’s activity online.
  • Set rules about how much time your children can spend online for non-school-related purposes.
  • Remind your kids not to give out any personal information online without your permission and to ignore ads for free giveaways or contests.
  • Talk to your kids about the importance of an online reputation and the permanence of the things they say or do online. Set guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for them to share.
  • Discourage meanness, gossiping and posting anything that is potentially harmful or embarrassing.

What are some ways you help keep your kids safe online?