Internet Safety for Kids: How to Protect Your Kids

Picture this: You pack the luggage and jet the family down to a tropical getaway. You check into your room and the beachside hotel manager mentions there have been a lot of sharks near the shoreline this week. Would you immediately set your kids loose in the waves? Even if they are great swimmers, it wouldn’t seem like the smartest or safest move. There are dangers in the water. Would you trust your kids with the sharks?

As dramatic as the example sounds, it hints at the reality of the dangers posed by the internet. There is plenty of open space to “swim around” without harm there, but there is no denying that “sharks” are nearby, with intentions as inviting as razor-sharp teeth. Setting your kids loose without any sort of protection, guidance, or supervision could lead to something very painful. Now is the time to talk with your kids about how to safely co-exist with any threats they find on the internet.

The problem hits more than just teens. Kids are using the internet at younger and younger ages because of school projects, entertainment options, and information gathering. It’s also where children, some still in elementary school, encounter pornography, violence, and drugs for the first time while online. Do your kids have access to a smartphone? This may shock you but kids are using their phones to share nude photos online at a higher rate than ever. A study found that 40 percent of kids agreed it’s “normal” to share nude pics.

Know their passwords. Friend them on social media. Limit screen time. These are just a few ways to protect your children when they wade out into the internet. It won’t eliminate the dangers of the internet, but it will help them prepare. Check out this video from our Child Safety Series.and get involved today.

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is the most intriguing part of using the internet?”