It’s a digital world, and it’s up to us to make it as safe as possible for our kids. Let’s face it—social media, Google, messaging, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon! We live in a digital era and that inevitably means that our kids do, too. I’ve teamed up with Google Families to encourage parents to join me in making sure our kids are safe while online. Let’s give our kids the tools to have a better understanding of what’s real, what’s fake, and what to look out for while online. We can’t shield our kids from the internet, but we can make sure that they’re as safe as possible when they grab their phones.
Start With a “Tech Talk”
It was recently Safer Internet Day and Bobby and I took full advantage, having a tech talk with our kids about how they live online. Security is of the utmost importance and I want to make sure my kids have the tools they need to make the best decisions online. It seems like everyone has access to everything these days, so privacy, security, and safety were at the heart of our talk.
We decided to play two truths and a lie to walk our kids through definitions of misinformation, scamming, and phishing. The point is to easily explain these terms so that they can learn what they mean and how they might come across these things online. The more you know, the better prepared you are. It doesn’t have to be an intimidating talk—play a game, like we did!
Check the Source
It’s really insane how easily misinformation can spread these days—whether it’s about COVID, global issues, or celebrity gossip. It’s toxic and it’s everywhere! While social media platforms are getting better at catching fake posts, it’s up to us as parents to talk with our kids about this.
Explain the difference between information and misinformation, walk them through how to check sources. It’s better to take an extra second to see where their information is coming from so that they can make a decision of whether or not to share it, like it, or absorb it.
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Be Internet Safe
From scams and phishing to security breaches, it’s a risk to have your privacy and personal information out online. The truth is, there are bad people out there, but that doesn’t mean that your kids will fall victim to them. There are easy steps to make you and your kids feel more confident and protect themselves online.
For one, make a strong family password with your kids so that they can use that for all of their accounts. Make it unique to your family so that it is harder to guess. Also, ensure that ad and spam blockers are in place and activated so your kids are less likely to click on them.
Keep Your Kids Safe
Knowing what’s real, what’s fake, and who’s trying to get your information are must-do’s when your kid is interacting with others online. Instead of coming from a place of fear, let’s all band together as parents to ensure our kids are educated, informed, and connected with the resources they need to be safe online. Want more guidance? See Google’s Be Internet Awesome Program for more resources!
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