If you’re a parent, you have likely noticed that your children love being on the Internet. The Web brings the world closer to your children by making school research easier, providing homework help, enabling them to shop online, and facilitating friendships through social networking.
Yet, the Internet can also be a dangerous place for minors if they don’t receive the proper guidance. Criminals and identity thieves are always preying upon the unsuspecting, and children are a vulnerable target.
Therefore, as a parent, you should provide guidance to your children about safe Internet use. Here are a few tips to get the dialogue going between you and your children on Internet safety:
1. Encourage your children to keep passwords to themselves: Tell your children not to reveal passwords and to keep them hidden from friends. Encourage your children to treat their passwords with as much care as their own Social Security numbers.
2. Help your children use social networking safely:Your children may use social networking sites such as Webkinz or Club Penguin. If they do, encourage them to communicate with people they/you already know and be in the know of what identifiable information is in your children’s profile.
3. If your children blog, make sure they don’t reveal too much: Establish rules for online use with your children and screen what your children plan to post before they post it.
4. Beware of online fraud: Children make attractive targets for identity theft because they have no debt, and they tend to be less savvy than adults about how to keep personal information secure. Teach your children to never share personal information and to only visit secure sites.
The next time you see your children on the Internet, take advantage of a perfect time to talk with them about online safety.