Online safety is one of the most important discussions you can have with your kids these days.
The best way to begin these crucial discussions with your children is to start with a few anchoring points:
- Don’t give out personal information
This includes your name, your parents’ names, your address, the city you live in or the school you go to! Keep your personal life private!
- Never, ever send pictures to strangers
Who doesn’t love taking pictures of themselves doing fun, silly and outrageous things?? Sure, the pictures of you and your friends jumping on the trampoline with ice cream cones was the best moment ever…but those pictures need to stay on your Facebook wall. Don’t send them to strangers! Your online safety is extremely important, and keeping your online information private is urgent. Your pictures included! Make sure your parents help you set up your privacy settings on social media accounts to protect your pictures…but most importantly, don’t give your pictures to strangers!
- Keep your passwords private
If you have ever had a treasure chest filled with gold and jewels, you wouldn’t leave it in your front yard…right?? You would put it somewhere safe where robbers wouldn’t find it, and you would put a lock on it and keep the key with you at all times! Passwords are like the keys to your treasure chest. Don’t give your passwords away (to anybody except your parents!)!
- Never download anything without permission
The internet is full of amazing things, like videos of coconut crabs, and scary things that your parents keep you away from. Downloading things from the internet can be one of those scary things that could be a file, a bug, or a virus. Bugs and viruses are to be avoided at all costs!! In real life germs can lead to colds and viruses can make you sick, so make sure you wash your hands and keep yourself healthy and germ/virus free! Just like any parent wants to keep their kids safe in real life, they also want to keep you safe and healthy online. Don’t download anything without your parents’ permission!
5. Tell your parents if you receive any strange messages!
Let’s say you and your friends were playing at the park, when suddenly you spot something weird in the grass. You step a little closer to see what it is, and you cannot believe your eyes. It is a two-headed centipede with red legs and wings! This is the strangest things you have ever seen in your life. You have to tell someone, so you run home and tell your parents! The same reasoning goes with anything you see online. If it is strange, uncomfortable, weird, or scary…tell your parents immediately so they can help you!