AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Four simple steps to keep your children safe online

You want your children to explore the world with surprise and joy, just like every parent does. However, all of that wonder and awe can be overwhelming and happen too quickly online.

You are all too aware of the risks lurking on the internet today. And the internet will undoubtedly play a significant role in your child’s life, whether it is for academic purposes, pleasure, or simply for connecting with friends. Therefore, it’s crucial to instruct kids about online safety.

Here are four suggestions to help them understand how to appropriately use their phones, laptops, and other connected devices.


Communicate clearly

Maintaining open channels of communication is essential, even though it’s not always the easiest thing to do with children. You want kids to be aware that they can discuss their online activity with you and let you know if anything strange happens. Simple tactics consist of:

  • Having this conversation with them as soon as you can, ideally before they start using email, social media, or a smartphone.

  • Establishing a rapport with them by asking them about the websites and apps they find intriguing and learning about them will help you spot any potential dangers.


Provide them with some context

When it comes to texting or Fortnite, they may be able to outsmart you, but you have priceless life experience to impart. Be sure to reaffirm to them:

  • Even on programs like Snapchat that are supposed to remove content after a certain amount of time, what they publish online remains there permanently.

They should constantly question themselves if sharing is against the law before doing so. Damaging to me? Embarrassing to another person? They shouldn’t share it under any circumstances if the response to any of these questions is yes.

  • Online bullying is never acceptable, and if it occurs, they should notify an adult right away so that they may gather evidence, such as the date, a digital record of what happened, and whatever communication took place.


Track without eavesdropping

The majority of children learn about boundaries, such as respecting others’ personal space or refraining from opening the cookie jar without being asked.

Internet usage is the same. It’s beneficial for children to have guidelines regarding the websites, apps, and content they can share online. Also:

  • both online and offline, be aware of their friends.

  • Remind them that they may and should talk to a trusted adult if they have any questions about anything that happens online.


Proper access restrictions

The age of your children will play a big impact in how you handle their internet usage. There are websites and surfing applications designed specifically for younger children, such as YouTube Kids, which attempts to give kids a secure online environment.

Since older children desire to network and need to utilize the internet for information gathering, they may be given more freedom. But you can establish limits that are appropriate for you. Together, talk about various restrictions, such as website filters that prevent adult content and parental controls on Netflix-like apps that restrict the content they can access.

Giving your kids the freedom to make responsible decisions online teaches them responsibility, demonstrates your trust in them, and serves as a gentle reminder that rules may be tightened if they are broken.