Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kids and the Internet (and the Risks that Go with Them)

Sometimes, it's not what we do online that brings the greatest threat, it's what our kids do, often unwittingly.

It's amazing how quickly little kids pick up on technology! From toddlers to teens, touch screens, mobile devices, and the Internet will be as natural a part of their lives as televisions and microwaves are for the older generations. That's why it's important to start teaching our kids about online safety and privacy from an early age. It is vital, and not only for their own safety. The privacy and security of all your family's Internet/mobile activity can be at risk if the online actions of your youngest members aren't considered.

There are many great resources to help you understand the threats posed to your children and what practical steps you can take to instill responsible privacy practices from the moment they begin accessing online content. We've linked to some great resources below and encourage you to check them out and have a conversation with your kids.

That, of course, is the key: conversation. Talk to your kids about Internet safety and security so they can enjoy the benefits of technology without increasing the risks to your family's privacy. As you know, it only takes one errant click, one insecure website, one accidental download to cause significant trouble. Help your kids understand the risks and how they can help keep your family and all your information safe.

Family Online Safety Institute: Check out the Resources tab for parent-focused information on keeping kids safe online.

Kids Health: Though this website is dedicated to children's health in general, they have some great information concerning Internet safety, including some very specific, practical advice on protecting your kids.

Netsmartz Workshop: This website is from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and has lots of topic specific articles under their Parents and Guardians tab. They even include discussion starters with each of the articles, which cover anything from Identity Theft to Social Networking to Webcams.

OnGuard Online: Under the Protect Kids Online tab, this government website has articles on a variety of subjects relating to kids and the Internet.


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