You know what you should do? When your kids are around that age when they’re growing up and discovering the World Wide Web, you should lay done some ground rules. Social media and the internet is just a big part of how we connect in 2016. This means, before your kids step out on their own, you need to set some rules for your household. Right down the following rules, and put them up on the refrigerator where everyone can see them every day.
1. The Internet is a Great Place to Learn
The first thing you need to teach kids is not to be tech phobic. If we’re being truthful, this advice should probably apply to the parents more so than the kids. The internet is actually a great place to learn. Growing up, your kids have lots of questions about the world, and the internet is a great place to explore and find out the answers to any burning questions their young minds have. So, when your kids are starting out, make sure that you set a rule that they learn something interesting on the internet every day.
2. Don’t Click on Everything
The second thing they need to know is to not click on every link that comes their way. As we’ve discussed many times before, people on the internet will try to scam you through them. These links may appear in your inbox, through a Facebook message. It may even appear as a mail from someone who seems like a normal person. But the truth is a lot of the times companies have set link bots in motion that aidentity theft, stolen pictures or cyberstalkingre meant to track your information or plant a virus on your device. Either way, you need to teach your kids to stay away from URLs that look weird.
3. Oversharing Has Consequences
Oversharing on the internet can have terrible consequences. You can either face troubles on the internet itself or in real life, too. On the internet, oversharing can lead to identity theft, stolen pictures or cyberstalking. In real life, it could lead to actual stalking, or limiting professional opportunities. So tell your kids to share only when it is absolutely necessary. If they must share a lot, make sure their audience is limited. Too much personal information in the wrong hands can be hazardous.
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4. Be a Good Internet Samaritan
So far, we’ve taken to you about preventative measures you need to talk to protect your child. It is also equally important for you to teach your child to be a good internet citizen and not indulge in activities that harm others. You can teach them to:
- Not say anything if there is nothing nice to say,
- Not leave hurtful comments anywhere
- Help out others when they’re facing a difficult situation
- Report incidents or bullying
Which brings us to our next point…
5. Report Incidents of Bullying
It is extremely important for you to tell your kids that if they are being bullied, or if they see someone else being bullied, that they report the incident. Most social media platforms have a reporting system that they can use, and the tips are anonymous.
That’s it for this blog. Stay tuned to see what other rules you need to put up as a norm!
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