Sunshine, swimming, vacations…summer is always a fun time of year. However, for some parents, summertime may not be stress-free.
Chances are that kids will be spending more time online and on their mobile devices. How do you make sure your child stays cyber-safe during his/her summer break? Check out the following tips!
CREATE A FAMILY TECH AGREEMENT.
Set some ground rules and boundaries when it comes to online behavior. This may include a list of sites allowed, time frames for using devices, etc. Make sure to discuss what information is safe to share or not, what email address is appropriate to use, and what to do if something seems suspicious or inappropriate.
KNOW THEIR DEVICES/SET PARENTAL CONTROLS.
It’s important to know what devices your child is using and how they are using them. Be sure to review games, apps, and social media sites before your child downloads them. Take advantage of built-in parental controls to limit screen time, restrict content, and enhance user privacy.
KEEP THE COMPUTER IN A COMMON SPACE.
If possible, it’s best to keep computers and devices in a common space so you can keep an eye on activity. This prevents kids from doing things that might be risky, as well as allows you to swoop in immediately if you see inappropriate content or messages.
SET SOCIAL MEDIA RULES.
Make sure your child understands how to safely use social media. Create a list of things your kids should never share online, such as full name, address, or phone number. Teach them to be thoughtful and cautious about what information and pictures they post and urge them to only connect with people they know. Kids should also avoid location check-ins and photo geo-tagging.
USE SECURE PASSWORDS AND PROTECT THEM.
Show your kids how to create strong passwords and make sure they know to never share them with anyone except you or another trusted adult. It’s important that you or your children password-protect all accounts and devices.
WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS.
Warn your kids about the dangers of scams, spam, and phishing emails. Tell them to be on the lookout for free games and other goodies, which can infect devices. Be sure all security software is up to date.
Keep summer fun by making sure your kids stay safe online!