A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Kids Online

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Friends Newsletter

February 2017

A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Kids Online

Parents today are confronted with an entirely new set of safety concerns for their children – online threats. Children are exposed to the Internet at a very young age. Some tablets are designed specifically for kids as young as two years old and some children in elementary school have their own smartphones. Almost from infancy, the Internet touches their lives on a daily basis.

Just as parents teach their children to look both ways before crossing the street or not talk to strangers, it is critical that parents teach their children safe online habits.  As a parent, you cannot eliminate online threats – like cyberbullying, online predators, or inappropriate content – but you can teach your children how to respond when they come across these things online.

February 7 is Safer Internet Day, an international effort to raise awareness for online safety to ultimately build a better Internet for the younger generation. ConnectSafely, a non-profit partner of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Stop.Think.Connect. cybersecurity awareness campaign, leads the promotion of Safer Internet Day in the United States. In recognition of Safer Internet Day, DHS encourages all parents to follow these common sense steps to protect your children online.

  • Create an open and honest environment with kids.
  • Have regular conversations with kids about practicing online safety.
  • Emphasize the concept of credibility to teens: not everything they see on the Internet is true and people on the Internet may not be who they appear to be.
  • Watch for changes in behavior — if your child suddenly avoids the computer, it may be a sign they are being bullied online.
  • Review security settings and privacy policies for the websites kids frequent. These settings are frequently updated so check back regularly.
  • Make sure mobile devices are secure. Use PINs and passwords, only install apps from trusted sources, and understand the privacy settings and permissions for all apps.

in this issue

A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Your Kids Online

Cyber Quiz

Quick Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Online Safety

Partner Spotlight

featured resources

NetSmartz for Educators

Educating students about online safety can be difficult, especially with constantly changing technologies and classroom time constraints. Netsmartz provides resources for educators to teach students how to safely navigate the Internet.

Resources include free presentations, teaching materials, and project kits about topics like cyberbullying, online privacy, digital ethics, and more.

NetSmartz Workshop, a Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign partner, is an interactive, educational program that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. With resources such as videos, games, activity cards, and presentations, NetSmartz provides entertaining, engaging, and educational content.

Access the NetSmartz for Educators resources here: www.netsmartz.org/Educators