How To Keep Your Child Safe From Online Predators
Like many parents in the often overwhelming digital age, you may be wondering how to keep your child safe online. As it does with so many other facets of your child’s life, online safety for kids starts with parent education and vigilance. Here are some important online safety tips for kids:
Talk to your child about internet safety. One of the best things you can do to protect your child is to start a conversation about online dangers. Explain that just as there is “stranger danger” in the physical world, the same hazard exists on the internet. Be sure your child understands the nature of the risk, too. Here are some talking points for conversations with young children and teenagers.
Discuss risky behaviors to avoid. Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways your child can inadvertently put themselves at risk when they spend time on the internet. Talk to them about these dangerous behaviors as well as the hazards of chat rooms, online flirting, and suggestive selfies. Don’t forget to warn them about sharing general sensitive data such as contact information, location, and their school or parents’ work schedules.
Set limits on devices, websites, apps, and people. As a parent, you already set limits on plenty of things for the benefit of your child’s health. It only makes sense to govern the devices, sites, and apps your child uses, as well as who they can communicate with online. Here are some kid-friendly apps and safety settings to consider.
Use surveillance software and filters and watch for warning signs. There’s no substitute for a healthy parent-child relationship with transparency and mutual trust, so be sure to explain that you need to monitor their online activity for their own protection. However, if your child is resisting your attempts to keep tabs on them—or is a young teenager in full eye-roll mode—consider using these parental control apps.
Report suspected abuse or suspicious behavior. If your child has become the victim of an online predator, block the predator and report the behavior to the platform and the police. You can also report it to federal authorities. This will not only help bring justice to online predators, but will prevent countless other children and teens from being exploited.
Teach Kids Safe Tech Use With Net Positive
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens and leaders. We accomplish this by providing evidence-based programs with a focus on those that improve academic engagement, build character, and that improve healthy behaviors.
Our Net Positive Program educates K-12 students about digital safety, health, citizenship, and leadership. After participating in our program, students are 97% better prepared to face internet dangers. Contact us to learn more and ask your school to schedule a Net Positive Presentation, or support us with your donation today!
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