As our vast online worlds grow and continue to change, it’s important to remember to keep cyber safety and digital privacy front and center. Here our top six tips to keep your family protected throughout 2023!
- Tell your kids to keep their clothes on! If your child is old enough to be left unsupervised using technology by a parent or guardian, then you must tell them to NEVER take off their clothes when using technology (even if you think they are too young for that conversation – they are not!). If you as a parent don’t tell your children this, a stranger they meet online will groom them into taking their clothes off and further sextorting them.
- Your kids don’t understand the concept of what a stranger is online. Tell your kids to NOT believe everything they see or hear online. Just because a “friend” reaches out in a game, on social media, in a text message, email, or in an app and tells them something, doesn’t mean your kids should listen! Your kids’ “friends” are reaching out to them and telling them they have inappropriate (naked) pictures and videos of them and if they don’t send more inappropriate pics and videos, they will share the inappropriate images with their parents, friends, and everyone they know. These strangers are lying to get your child to send their FIRST inappropriate pic or video.
- The only screen allowed to go to bed with your child at night is a Kindle (and NOT a Kindle Fire). The black and white (eink) based Kindles can be loaded with all the books, comics, graphic novels, and audio books (depending on the model) your kids can read or listen too. After you load them up, turn on the built in parental controls to disable wireless access. Your kinds can now read all night long…or what typically happens is they fall fast asleep after about 5 minutes of reading after a long day.
- Sit with your child while they play their favorite games (no matter their age!) or use their favorite social media apps. Only by doing this, will you understand who they communicate with and how they communicate with others. With these observations, you can determine what cyber safety and privacy topics are most vital to your child to understand at their current age.
- Commit to learning more about how you can help raise your child to have successful online experiences. Read our quick reference parenting guide, Digital Parenting by the Ages and refer to it at each stage of your child’s life.
- Start the TechTalk conversation with your kids and make it a family habit. Parenting is stressful, we help reduce that stress for you and your family. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn because we post conversations starters to use when appropriate in your household.
And remember, connecting with each other – in person and online! – works best when we lead with kindness. Savvy Cyber Kids wishes you and your family a Happy New Year. May technology illuminate your lives in positive ways!
- Have you or your peers ever been requested to send a photo of yourself? If someone did ask you, or if a friend came to you for advice on this topic, what would you say?
- What are your nighttime routines that ready you for rest? Do they relax you? What is the routine that you think would work best for you?
- Being a child of the technology age, what are your favorite parts of technology in your life and why? What are your least favorite aspects of technology? Is there anything that you see or experience that you worry about?
- Future-focused, if your work life was somehow connected to technology development, what role would you want to play or what would you want to invent?
Savvy Cyber Kids educates and empowers digital citizens, from parents and grandparents, to teachers and students. Sign up for our free resources to help you navigate today’s digital world with cyber ethics. See more cyber safety and cyber ethics blogs produced exclusively for EarthLink. Looking for a social media parental control? Try a 30-day free trial of Bark. If you sign up after your trial, Bark donates 25% of your monthly fee to Savvy Cyber Kids.
Thank you to the Savvy Cyber Kid’s sponsors!
Interested in becoming a Savvy Cyber Kids sponsor? Email Ben Halpert.