In today’s plugged-in world, it is more important than ever to have conversations with your kids about Internet safety. Kiwi Commons (www.kiwicommons.com), a pro-active web safety resource for parents, has compiled a list of tips to help parents get the conversation started with their kids.
Here are six ways to help keep your kids safe online, even when you can’t be around:
1. Resist unplugging. Even though banning Internet access might seem like the easiest solution, it’s not the most realistic one. Fear that their web privileges could be taken away as a consequence will only discourage your kids from talking to you about any online problems they encounter.
2. Talk to them. Open up a discussion about your kids’ online activities and even add the topic to your dinner table conversations. Talk to them about a plan of action for their unsupervised time while showing them the types of websites that you approve of and feel are appropriate for their age.
3. Set ground rules. Create or revise an Internet safety agreement with your children. This ensures the whole family is aware of rules and consequences when it comes to their activities online.
4. Know the trends. The best way to raise a web-savvy child is to be a web-savvy parent. Be aware of potential issues involving Internet safety, privacy setting usage, and upcoming trends and gadgets.
5. Participate. Since most kids have many online hobbies, you can share in their interests by sitting down with them to find out what their favorite online activities are.
6. Reenforce the boundaries. Provide your children with a positive and educational experience by setting online boundaries. By using a parental control service like Iglu (www.iceio.com), you can give your kids an age-appropriate web space to surf in.
For more tips, resources and an Internet Safety Agreement, visit www.kiwicommons.com.
Ryan Moreau is an Internet Safety Expert at www.KiwiCommons.com. Kiwi is a free web safety resource dedicated to providing teachers and parents with the most informative news, tips, guides, and videos.