A new report provides a few valuable internet safety tips from the Attorney General of Oklahoma and the On Guard Online branch of the Federal Trade Commission. For parents with children heading back to school, potentially being exposed for the first time to the brave new world of social media and gaming, the advice is worth taking into consideration.
Parents have to be the most watchful when it comes to young children’s internet usage, but as kids age, it’s important to have a talk with them about the dangers that lurk online. Kids should be taught to have a healthy skepticism of anyone and anything they encounter online. They should know that once something is placed online, it’s nearly impossible to take down with any certainty.
Although it might seem harmless to post a photo or even a comment online, parents should instruct kids that their digital actions can have real-world consequences. They need to limit how others might access their profiles across various social sites, and parents should take an active interest in what’s contained therein. If a parent notices that a kid is giving away their email, phone number or address to anyone who views their profile, they need to step in immediately.
Finally, parents should lay out a few ground rules. Computer usage should have a time limit, and that computer should be in a common area. When your child starts to use a tablet or a smartphone, stress that they must be responsible or else lose their privileges.