By showing them how and telling them what happens on the internet, we can teach our kids to surf responsibly.
Because of the pandemic, we’re more reliant on the internet. We use the internet for keeping in contact with family, learning about the latest news on the vaccine, and kids use it for gaming and school. But the internet’s not always a safe place. People can hide behind screens and fake profiles to take advantage of people, especially your kids. So, we came up with a list of things that can help you make surfing the net a little safer for your kids.
Observing proper netiquette
The internet itself isn’t dangerous but the people on it are. We usually call those kinds of people keyboard warriors and these people like to bully people or cause trouble online. Make sure you and your child don’t join them by always being respectful to other netizens. Since they’re behind a screen, we don’t know who they are and what they’re like. But if they say something disrespectful to you and your child, you can choose to report them to the website’s administrator and block them so you’ll never have to deal with them.
Watch your digital footprint
Whenever you create an account online, you create a “digital footprint”. A digital footprint is where you put all your data, like your address, name, phone number, etc. But you can prevent that by changing your account settings to “private” so companies can’t get your data unless you allow them to. While teaching your kids how to navigate through the account security settings, you can also teach them to be mindful of what information they put out so they can keep a small digital footprint.
Being upfront about internet use
We don’t mean just outright banning a website just because we don’t like it. Rather, we think that sitting down with your kids and asking what they do on the internet will help both of you come up with an internet use plan. By letting them take part in the plan, you give them a sense of comfort that you’re not trying to take away their fun. Talk about the plan over dinner or maybe snacks to keep the discussion light and fun for the both of you.
Use the internet responsibly
Screens aren’t always bad. You can show your kids they have positive effects too, especially during this pandemic, like messaging and talking to your relatives who have COVID-19 and are in the hospital. Doing that teaches your kids that the digital realm also has its uses which helps them become technologically literate. Especially now when everything’s done online, they need to know how to navigate through the internet.
At a young age, kids are exposed to many things on the internet especially now during the pandemic. And we can’t prevent them from accessing the internet because they need it for things like meeting up with friends and schoolwork. But what we can do instead is show them how to navigate the net, recognize the signs of non-secure websites, and be mindful of what information they give out so they can stay away from all sorts of sticky situations.