Knowing how to protect your kids online is about more than just knowing the best social media monitoring software for parents, the latest Instagram monitoring tools, or searching for endless lists of Internet safety tips for kids. It’s about communication, not only about what’s safe and what’s not, but also about the expectations, boundaries, and consequences involved with maintaining their freedom and privacy online.
Let Them Know What You Expect. Just as in the real world, if you make it clear the type of behavior you expect from your kids online, then you at least have a firm foundation for the discussion about safety. A broken rule becomes not just a broken rule, but an intentionally broken rule. And any rule broken without knowledge that it was a rule becomes an opportunity for discussion.
Let Them Know How You’re Monitoring Them. There are some parents who may monitor their children’s online habits secretly, but this is actually not conducive to safety. By telling your kids the methods and means by which you’re tracking their Internet usage, you’re establishing trust. And you’re letting them know that, if something happens that isn’t their fault (e.g. malware or hacking), you’ll be able to see that right away.
Let Them Know What Happens If They Cross the Line. Similar to your expectations, the punishments involved must be clearly enunciated. Many experts recommend an Internet “contract” with your kids, similar to a cell phone contract, where both parties (you and your kids) sign off on the expectations and punishments before any online minutes are logged, so everyone goes into the situation knowing the stakes, and nothing can be called unfair later on.
What are some of the best Internet safety tips for kids that you’ve discovered, designed, or modified to good use? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below. Read this website for more information: www.zabra.com