Cyber Safety – Keeping Kids safe in the online world

child-computer

Children must be 80 lbs or 8 eight years old to ride in a car without a booster seat.  Not recommended for children under the age of 3.  You must be _____ high to ride.  These warnings represent just a few of the many safeguards that are put in place to keep kids safe.  But what about cyber safety?

Today’s generation is much more tech savvy then any generation before them.  I remember my then 3 year old showing my mother how to find something on her smartphone.  Classrooms have iPad’s instead of computers, and high school students are given laptops upon entering grade 9.  Never before has technology been as big a part of our daily lives as it is now. 

With this technology come responsibility.  Teaching our children how to properly operate and care for these devices is just the beginning.  Online safety is a major concern that as parents we need to address to safeguard our children.  Setting parental controls and using network privacy settings to block unwanted content is not 100% secure, but will limit what is accessible online.  Controlling who can access posts  will also limit predators and scam artists from contacting your child.

The #1 job of a parent is to keep their child safe.  In order to do this parents should be aware of their children’s online activity.  Monitoring what site are being accessed, who children are communicating with, as well as keeping the lines of communication open between parents and children are key safety procedures that should be practiced.  Talking about what is acceptable to view and what isn’t is important because many times, content is viewed or games are being played when children are away from the home.  Being  informed of the potential dangers before they happen is half of the battle.

Online predators can be anywhere.  It sounds ominous, but its true.  The online world goes far beyond our neighborhood or even our country.  For this reason it is hard to regulate information being posted, and laws are often  invalid due to location issues.  There are however numerous government agencies and organizations that have been designed to help parents be informed and prepared to make sure that their children’s online habits are safe.  Everything Kids has created a helpful checklist to keep kids safe when spending time online gaming or on social media platforms.

Please click on the links posted below if you would like further information:

https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/for-parents/

https://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/internet_safety

http://www.safekids.com/kids-rules-for-online-safety/

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8 thoughts on “Cyber Safety – Keeping Kids safe in the online world

  1. Great blog! This is the thing i am afraid off for my kids it’s scary thinking about it. I always ask my kids what they are up too when i see them with a computer or an Ipad. I always tell them not to open other stuff that there not suppose to open, and i always make sure to check what and where they went when their on social media. Scary world out there now.

  2. Thanks for the important blog, Liz. My son recently learned to text his grandmother using my phone. He didn’t realize all of the texts stored on the device werent involving my mother and accidentally sent a somewhat new friend a message professing how much he (I) loved her. It was somewhat embarrassing. It’s not exactly on topic, but it is in line with teaching our kids how to use devices in a safe manner. I’ll check out your list of resources to make sure I’m doing everything I can.

  3. Very well written, it’s so true there is a lot of risks online for kids, it’s actually scary, parents and online networking platforms need to protect our kids and make it safer. There is so many dangers like predators making fake accounts and kids dont always know whats right and wrong

  4. Great subject, Liz. I think your point about communicating is an important one. And sending the message repeatedly. You can put all the controls you want on a device, but that won’t help you if your child is logging on at a friends’ house or — and I expect this will happen more and more — looking at another child’s smartphone in the school yard. But if we keep talking to our children about the appropriate use of technology and setting expectations, hopefully the message will get through and they’ll learn to think before they dive into places online that they shouldn’t be.

    • Thank you for your comments. We really can’t be too careful. I was just reading today about an app that has a chat option where predators have been lurking. I think I will be disabling any chat options from my kids apps.

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