5 ways to protect your kids from online dangers

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Are you worried about your child’s online safety? Here are five steps to keep them safe:

  1. Talk about internet safety

    Talk to them about safe practices as soon as they start going online. Explain why and how they should keep their personal information private. Let them ask questions.

    • Tell your child to inform you if they see something scary or if a person they don’t know is reaching out to them.
    • Teach them how to make good passwords. They should have different passwords for different accounts.
  2. Learn about privacy settings, parental controls and apps

    Keep up with new technology. Know how to set privacy settings and use parental controls. Use anti-virus software on your computer. Always check your computers and gadgets at home. Go to the links below to know more about privacy settings:

  3. Know what they do online

    Observe your child’s internet use. Put the computer in a common area or ask them to keep their door open when they are online. Check their search history and recommended videos. You will get an idea about what your child likes and watches online.

  4. Set limits

    Help your child develop good habits. Set a schedule for them. Emphasize that they should do their homework or chores first before playing online.

    • Set the amount of time depending on your child’s age and personality.
    • Give them enough time to enjoy but not too much that they become addicted.
    • They can play with their gadgets more on weekends and vacations. But make sure that they are not on it all day. Encourage them to get out, play sports, talk to friends and family, and have healthy pastimes.
  5. Protect personal information

    Remind them to keep personal information private. Tell them never to share their full name, age, address, or the name of their school. Remind them that anything they post online will be there forever. It is a permanent record that can affect them in the future.

Sources: How do I keep my children safe online? What the security experts tell their kids, Stuart Dredge, The Guardian; Parents’ ultimate guide to parental controls, Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media; Keeping your child safe on the internet, Anne Reeks, Parenting; Retrieved March 1, 2019.
Article updated May 7, 2024

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Community Resources

Read 5 tips for smart digital parenting for more tips.

Does your child spend too much time playing online games? Read 10 steps to healthier gaming for kids.

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