The upcoming holidays mean not only a break from school for Ashe students, but also more free time and social interactions for children and teens to spend on their phones, tablets and computers.
For cautious parents, identifying and managing internet safety risks is an ever-evolving set of skills. As a baseline, there are several things adults can and should do to develop that skill-set — according to authorities who, sadly, too often see the tragic outcomes of internet usage that goes untutored.
As with much of parenting, modeling healthy internet use tops the list. Showing your children that you use and value internet safety practices goes a long way in influencing how they interact with social media and websites.
Talking about online content — and that’s talking with, not only to our children — also promotes healthy internet interactions. Have your child explain the apps and games and other use they are interested in — and share your own. It’s never too early to start a conversation about digital and media literacy.
Helping your child set and choose privacy settings is also important. Often, even older children can feel much like their younger siblings: If I can’t see the predators, they can’t see me. Updating your “stranger danger” advice with teens, especially in the area and era of online dating, is crucial.
And don’t neglect to offer more than a bit of financial advice. For children just beginning to shop online and teens who may be too trusting, it makes sense to teach how to look for reputable sites, customer reviews, security software and checking purchase transactions.