All this connectedness has amazing benefits, yet online dangers lurk, and our kids are particularly vulnerable. In honor of Internet Safety Month, here are some tips to keep your family surfing the Internet safely.
Talk with your kids about Internet safety
Research shows that kids whose parents talk with them about internet safety are more likely to exhibit responsible online behavior on their own. Remind them that anything they send to one friend may be shared with others.
Know which devices in your home have internet access
The average American has more than 10 connected devices in their home. This includes tablets, smartphones, gaming systems, laptops, and desktop computers. Make sure to take inventory of all the devices in your home so you can monitor internet access and usage.
Make sure your kids visit age-appropriate sites
When you hear your kids talk about a new website or social media site, check it out. If you have questions about content your child is exposed to, watch it first. If you approve the site, then sit with them as they visit the site to see what they do or learn.
Watch for signs of cyberbullying
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 6 high school students reported being cyberbullied last year. But identifying whether or not your child is being bullied might be difficult. Watch for signs like withdrawing from family or friends, avoiding the computer or other connected devices, or signs of low self-esteem.
Have rules about phone time
Set limits on the amount of time your kids spend online using mobile devices and where they can use them. For example, demonstrate the importance of maintaining face-to-face connections with a “no phones allowed” rule during family time.
Use password protection
Enable strong passwords on all internet-enabled devices. If your child has to come to you enter the password, you’ll always be aware of when they are using the device. And remember, “Password1234” is not a strong password.
As parents, we’re the role models for safe and smart online behavior. Let’s enjoy the good stuff along with our kids by joining social networks that they’re on, playing games together and sharing favorite apps. The Internet can be a rich resource to promote learning, creativity and deepen your relationships with your kids.
Take control of your family’s Internet usage with Cox Panoramic Wifi and Advanced Security. From pausing devices, turning on parental controls and blocking certain content, parents now have the power to monitor their home network with just a tap of the finger. You help protect them in life. Cox helps protect them online.
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