How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Parents are generally hyper cautious when it comes to their children and rightly so. We live in an era of scrutiny, where everything we do is documented digitally and we are watched with security cameras at every step. From getting the kids to wear sunscreen to ensuring that they know how to cross the road safely, parents do it all to ensure that safety is first – always. 

The thing is, as our children get older, digital safety becomes the next biggest concern and even parents cannot control it all. In fact, unless they have a way to monitor the internet usage in a school or another setting, parents are truly helpless when it comes to watching what’s going on. Except for the fact that with the right education, you can keep your children safe. You could suggest a VPN for school WiFi to your child’s teacher, and you can suggest lessons in keeping kids safe online at school. The biggest thing that you need to know, though, is that education, honesty and continued learning are the real keys to online safety. Let’s take a look at some other tips that can help.

  1. Communicate. If you don’t communicate openly with your children, you cannot talk them through why safety online is important. Keeping that conversation ongoing and open is going to help them as they get older. You want to talk to your children about what you believe is most appropriate and remind them that what’s appropriate in your home may not be the same as others. This is where you explain that what rules you have at home won’t always be the same as other kids – but that your concern is for them and not other children. Talk about what they may encounter online and talk about situations and scenarios where they would need to speak to an adult.
  2. Keep an open device policy. Children do not need to hole away in their bedrooms with devices. You need to have an open policy where you monitor their time online, so keep the kids in the same room if they’re playing online games or are scrolling through YouTube shorts. You might also want to keep up with browser histories and keep an ongoing conversation if you notice any worrying happening behind the scenes.
  3. Lean into parental controls. You may not have thought so, but it’s not intrusive to have parental controls on your child’s device. You want to make sure that there are safe search filters on, timers for turning off access to the internet and blocks for accessing violent or sexual material. Talk through these blocks with your kids before you do anything, though, so that you are all open and having a conversation.
  4. Be aware of their online companions. There are apps that allow you to control who your children talk to online, such as Messenger Kids. These apps allow you to see who your children have added and when, and your child can then flag or report any issues. 

Online safety is not a joke. Talk to their school and make sure that you keep an open line of communication at all times.

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Jodi Carlson is a mother of 2 children, wife, and a full time product owner at a large Insurance company. She is a mom just trying to juggle a full-time job with a family life. She shares countless tips and tricks of things she has experienced first hand with her kids. As she continues to guide and teach them to become caring, sensible and responsible human beings, all while working a full time job, maintaining a home and some how still allowing for some personal time and growth. Are you a Girl Scout Leader? Along with Mom Connecting Moms, she shares her 25+ years of Girl Scout experience over at Leader Connecting Leaders , there she shares ideas and resources to help leaders who are inspiring girl leaders of tomorrow plan their troop meetings. Check out Leader Connecting Leaders .