Family Internet Safety
As we do more on the World Wide Web, learning the basics of Internet Safety has become critical. Even if you don’t feel ‘tech-savvy’ you CAN learn to protect your family’s privacy, stop cyber-bullying, and safeguard your children online! There are lots of free resources to help you. Get started with these 5 simple suggestions:
- Limit exposure – Set time guidelines for internet usage as if it were television watching. Just as you expect the TV to be off by a certain time, then computer and mobile device access should be limited.
- A drop in the bucket – Keep a container near the doorway and just as house and car keys are put down on entering the home, so should children relinquish their devices until such a time as it is acceptable such as for 1 hour after dinner or following homework checks.
- No screens in bed – Children who bring mobile devices and computers to bed are exhibiting behavior that could stunt their brain development, emotional growth, and ability to connect (see What Screen Time Can Really Do to Kids’ Brains via Psychology Today).
- Get in the game – If you need to boost your digital literacy, find a free online course on internet safety such as those found at GCFLearnFree.org
- Invest in a watchdog – Contact your mobile services provider about parental controls and add them to your plan. For a few dollars more a month, you can create restrictions on mobile use, including internet, apps, questionable sites, and telephone contacts.