Summertime Net Surfing Safety Tips 

Cowabunga dude!!!  Summer is here and many children will be spending time surfing – not necessary in the ocean, but on the internet.  Summertime allows kids more free time and often more free time means more time spent downloading songs, searching online for places to visit, chatting with friends, playing digital games and viewing online videos.  During this season of hot weather and cool fun, it’s time to visit and implement safe surfing for our kids.  I have gathered some helpful tips and ideas to help keep kids safe and cool while surfing the World Wide Web.

Never talk to strangers online or offline.  Stranger danger is applicable in person and on the internet.  Ensure that children know and follow this simple rule.  Remind them that online we cannot see the person and anyone can become anything they choose – so do not ever talk with strangers online.

Never share or give out personal information about yourself, your family members, your friends or others.  Don’t give out addresses, phone numbers or locations where you might be spending some time such as a vacation spot or camp.  This type of information can be used by criminals to setup false profiles, and can also be used by offenders to locate individuals and stalk them or worse.

Password protect all online accounts and logins.  After password protecting accounts, never share those passwords with anyone other than those who need to know, such as parents or guardians. Remember, when creating a password, make sure it isn’t one that can be guessed or that contains words such as a nickname, a pet’s name, a birthdate or your address.  Use symbols and/or numbers to make the password even more secure. 

Never take part in cyberbullying.  Bullying someone in person or online is hurtful, cruel and unnecessary.  Harmful texting, emailing, rude or hurtful message on Instagram or Facebook are all forms of cyberbullying and should never occur.  If you or someone you know is being bullied, tell a parent or another responsible adult or someone in charge – adults can be bullied, too.

Never post pictures of yourself or others – without permission of parents or responsible adults.  Often kids tend to “over post” pictures of themselves.  This is not always a wise choice to make – so parents be sure to talk to you children about sharing photos and videos.

Review all devices used by children.  A parent or responsible adult should, at all times, be aware of what children are looking at online and what apps children are using.  Be aware that there are secret types of apps that hide messaging programs and photo vaults.  Theses apps can be disguised as calculators, games or other innocent looking apps.  Simply click on the apps children download and look for yourself to ensure their safety.

Use digital time wisely and sparingly.  It’s summertime, so children will spend much of their free time outdoors.  When they do have to spend time inside the house or inside a car while traveling, why not set up an art project, read a book together, play a quiet game, work puzzles (jigsaw or otherwise), listen to music or bake some cookies.  Online time can be fun and help pass a rainy day or a long trip, but it does not have to be the only form of entertainment for children this summer.

Posted by kim.sigman On 17 July, 2018 at 8:04 AM  34 Comments

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