5 ways to protect your kids from online dangers

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

  1. Talk about internet safety at an early age

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

    • Tell them to inform you if they see something scary online or if a person they don’t know is talking to them.
    • Learn more about online safety so that you can protect your child.
    • 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 up privacy settings and use parental controls. Use a good anti-virus software on your computer. Check your computers and gadgets at home. Go to the links below to know more:

  3. Know what they do online

    Observe your child’s internet use. Put the computer in a common area. Keep the door open when they are playing online and always be there for questions. Check their search history and recommended videos. You will know what your child likes and watches online.

  4. Set limits

    Help your child have good habits. Set a schedule for playing online or watching YouTube. They should do their homework or chores before playing online.

    • Set the schedule depending on your child’s age and personality.
    • Give them time to enjoy but not too much that they become addicted.
    • They can play more on weekends and vacations but not all day. Encourage them to get out, play sports, talk to friends and family and have healthy pastimes.
  5. Keep personal information

    Remind them to keep personal information private. Tell them not to share their full name, age, address, or school. Tell them that anything they post online will be there forever. They can delete a post, photo or video but the electronic footprint is permanent. This 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.

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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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