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
Family Online Safety Institute: Check out the Resources tab for parent-focused information on keeping kids safe online.
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.
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
Under the Protect Kids Online tab, this government website has articles
on a variety of subjects relating to kids and the Internet.