Summer is here and the odds are good that your kids will be spending quite a bit of time online. Here’s 5 quick tips to help you keep them safe while they learn and play.
1. Limit their online time
Just because school is out doesn’t mean that structure should go out the window. Decide the amount of online time that is right for you and your family and stick to it. For younger kids that may mean 30 minutes a day, but older kids might need an hour or more. Can’t decide how much time is right for your kids? Check out this article from TheWeek.com on how and why you should limit screen time.
2. Supervision is key
Your child is much less likely to browse suspicious content if Mom or Dad is watching. Place the family computer in a central location and limit their usage of tablets and smartphones when you’re not around. Parental control apps like NQ Family Guardian can help you with this.
3. Do your research
Review their browser history and look up any sites you see that are unfamiliar. If you just can’t keep up with what the kids are doing consider using a parental control app to automatically block questionable content.
4. Sometimes, time away from the phone is a good thing
Kids going to camp this summer? Consider having them leave the phone at home. After all, they’re probably there to enjoy the great outdoors. Do you really want endless games of Candy Crush Saga standing between them and a great time at Camp Granada? Learn more about a phone-free summer camp experience at commonsensemedia.org.
5. Educate yourself
Let’s be honest, your kids are probably ahead of you in the curve when it comes to technology. Often by the time you become aware of the latest social networking craze, your kids have moved on to the next big thing. Don’t spend time educating them about how to use these new technologies—instead, focus on teaching them the basics: courtesy, respect, why you shouldn’t share too much with strangers. Lessons like these will serve to protect them well on sites you haven’t even heard of yet.
What are your favorite online safety tips for kids? Join us on Twitter on June 20 at 3pm Eastern. We’ll be discussing online safety tips for parents with the National Cyber Security Alliance and others. Use the hashtag #ChatSTC to join the conversation!