Internet Safety for Your Kids

Special article brought to you by Heiner’s Insurance Center

In today’s world, we have access to a vast amount of information online. While the Internet is a great resource and can promote world- changing communication and collaboration through research and knowledge sharing, it also presents safety and security risks. Below are a few tips to make sure your child is using the Internet safely and responsibly.
• Set guidelines and/or parental controls. Use the resources you have available to disable certain features and block certain websites. Knowing what your kids are looking at is a very important first step in keeping them safe.
• Talk to them. Have honest conversations about the dangers of unsafe Internet use and take the time to educate them. Even if you’ve told them 100 times before, tell them again. They should never talk to strangers or disclose personal information about themselves or your family, even if they think the person they are talking to is a friend.
• Outline safe Internet use. After you’ve set the house rules and taken time to talk to your children, it is time to outline safe Internet usage with them.

Talk to them about the types of behaviors that are appropriate on social media and what is not. Some parents like to create a contract with their child, so the rules and consequences are clear.
• Keep tabs on them. While we like to think all kids listen the first time, we know that isn’t always the case. Internet safety is not a one-and-done conversation. Take the time to check in on them. Keeping tabs on social media accounts is also important.
• Kids are so tech savvy that it is unreasonable to think avoidance is the best approach to Internet safety. Use these tips to get started and learn what works best in your family.

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