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Safer Internet Day: Tips for how to keep your kids safe online

February 6, 2018

Happy Safer Internet Day! Here are our tips for parents, guardians and educators for how to help keep your kids safe online:

  1. Talk to your kids about what they are doing online
  2. Embrace technology
  3. Learn about digital citizenship
  4. Talk about family-based values and expectations
  5. Recognize good choices and good decision making
  6. Ensure your kids are exposed to experiences that build their digital skills and digital literacy

Watch the video below to learn more:

Talk to your kids about what they are doing online

Do it often by taking a daily interest in their online world and start as soon as they have a device in their hands. You can have open and honest conversations with your kids, whatever age, about what they’re doing online. Ask – who they are interacting with, what challenges they may be having and what relationships do they have?

Embrace technology

Keeping up with the evolution of technology can be challenging!! Remember, keeping your kids safe online is to teach them how to stay safe in general. Let your kids teach you about the new apps they are using or games they are playing. This empowers them by showing them that they can teach YOU something and they will love that you are taking an interest in their tech interests. Stay current by developing a list of trusted websites on online security and check them often for the latest information on keeping kids safe online. 

Learn about digital citizenship

Digital citizenship is how we live online – who we choose to interact with, the activities we choose to engage in and how we choose to portray ourselves to the online world. These decisions offer infinite benefits but also potentially severe consequences if done without proper safeguards and understanding. 

Have them Google themselves to see what their digital footprint looks like and then talk about the online image they are portraying to the world. What are they proud of,hat could be improved, and is there anything there that they are not proud of?

Talk about family-based values and expectations

Talk to your kids about values and then translate those into appropriate behaviours on the internet. These are lessons your kids will learn to live by and will carry with them throughout their lives. 

Examples provided by our friends at Media Smarts include:

  • Respect for others–i.e. Don’t publicly say things that will make others feel bad online. If you witness cyberbullying, tell a trusted adult. 
  • Respect for privacy – i.e. Don’t share information that compromises your privacy or that of others, including personal information, compromising photos, etc.
  • Respect for property – Don’t steal information and pass it off as your own–pictures, data, etc
Recognizing good choices and good decision making

Challenge them to think critically about all content they are consuming online and let them have more autonomy and freedom online as they demonstrate good decision making. 

Ensure your kids are exposed to experiences that build their digital skills and digital literacy

Become and advocate for digital content to be included in your school’s curriculum. 

You can also find an Actua network member in your area to enroll kids in STEM programs that will give them hands-on experience related to cyber safety.

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