Keeping kids safe online is becoming increasingly difficult. This article covers 10 rules that parents should enforce and communicate to their children to keep them safe when online.
Sexual predators, cyber bullies, rapists and murderers are looking for children to victimize. We’re hearing more and more stories about the tragic consequences that can result from frequently hanging out in social networking sites, chat rooms, and gaming sites. Unfortunately, technology puts more tools at the bad guy’s disposal and parents need to be vigilant in monitoring what your child is doing online.
#1 – The parent will decide when the child is allowed to use the computer, cell phone, gaming systems and the internet. Only sites and places will be visited online that the parent has given permission to.
#2- Never tell anyone in text messages or on online social networking sites that you are home alone. Don’t give out your last name, home address, phone number, the name of your school, teachers, or where your parents work. Remind friends not to give out any of this information on you too.
#3 -Tell your parents if anyone says anything to you that bothers you, or that seems inappropriate in any way. Never use bad language or say bad things about other people. Never send mean messages in emails, text, instant messages, chat rooms, blogs or anywhere online. Tell your parents if anyone does any of the above to you.
#4 – If your parents ask for your password give it to them. However, never give out your password or any other family member’s passwords to anyone else.
#5 – Ask your parent for permission before downloading any apps, games, movies, music or programs.
#6 – Don’t try to win or buy things on the phone or internet without your parents’ permission. If you get a message that you’ve won something, show it to your parents.
#7- Never EVER agree to meet anyone you’ve talked to online without first talking to your parents.
#8 -Do not open any of your parents’ files. Do not change any of the settings or install any new software with your parents’ permission.
#9 – Let your parents look on the computer and phone to see where you’ve been on the internet and the e-mails and text messages you’ve sent and received.
#10 – Not allowing your parents in the loop of what you’re doing online makes you look suspicious or guilty. After all, if you’re doing nothing wrong, then you shouldn’t have anything to hide.
After sharing these rules with your children, stress your love to them and reassure them you’re only trying to keep them safe!