Being with our children 24/7 does not guarantee to be able to monitor all their activities, especially online. As they grow older, it is important for them to know how to use the internet safely and responsibly, especially when they’re on their own.
Here are some tips that can help parents and guardians in teaching digital responsibility to kids:
Teach them to think and act responsibly online
The Golden Rule applies in the digital world. Teach kids that if it’s something they wouldn’t say or do to someone in person, then it is not proper in the online space as well.
Teach kids to safeguard their personal information. Create a strong and unique password. R3pl@ce le++ers wit# sYmb0ls & n^mb3rs 1ike Thi$. Make it memorable, but avoid using personal information like names or birthdays. Use different passwords for multiple sites.
Avoid sharing personally identifiable information (PII)
Personally identifiable information or PII pertains to information that can reveal someone’s identity which may violate a person’s privacy. Examples of PII include names, birthdays, addresses, and phone numbers among others. Help kids understand the importance of protecting their PII and not sharing it on social media. Teach them as well to respect the privacy of friends and family online by not identifying people by name in public profiles and pictures.
Beware of dangerous sites and scammers
Make sure children avoid downloading from file-sharing websites and don’t accept files or open email attachments from unknown people. Using antivirus software is also helpful, but be sure to update it regularly.
Exercise critical thinking
Help young ones learn how to verify information on social media by simply checking other sources or Google Search. For children who use online resources for homework or research requirements, make sure they understand that cutting and pasting content directly from a website may be considered plagiarism, especially if without citation.
Know where children go online
It is advisable to supervise younger children when they use the internet and tools such as Family Link can help. For older children, it is a must to have an open and healthy discussion about internet use–what is appropriate for them and not. It is important that they understand these boundaries. Parents and guardians may also set rules like scheduling online time and putting gadgets aside during meal or family hours.
Watch the first episode of Google and Mommy Mundo’s #InternetAwesomeParents webinar series to learn more about “Teaching your kids to be better netizens”. Tune in to the upcoming episodes “Ensuring your kids’ safety online,” on September 22 and “Setting boundaries with technology for your kids” on September 29, both at 8:00 PM.