We understand. There is a lot of information that you’d like to go over with your children before they go online or use new websites and applications. For an engaging way to spark a discussion about safe Internet practices, try playing a game or watching a video with them about online safety. You’ll have the chance to spend quality time with your child while teaching important lessons about how to browse safely and smartly. Here are a few resources to consider:
For younger children
Parents looking for a friendly character to guide their child through Internet perils and safeguards will like Faux Paw, the technocat, from iKeepSafe. In a three-video series, Faux Paw learns how to use information safely online, deal with cyberbullying, and overcome an Internet addiction. With the familiarity and trustworthiness of a favorite stuffed animal, Faux Paw is well suited for elementary-school-aged children. The videos are a great resource to watch with your children before letting them go online for the first time.
For more guidance on helping your children build healthy online relationships, check out iKeepSafe’s parent resources.
Check out our poster for key safety tips to discuss with your kids. You can print a color copy, or a black and white version for your kids to color in. You’ll have an educational resource and a memorable piece of art to post by the computer.
For older kids
For games, videos, and tips to show potential threats to your children as they advance in computer capabilities, try OnGuard Online, a site maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. The site’s quizzes on fraud, security, and protection test your children to see what knowledge have -- and fill in the gaps. With its clean interface and engaging graphics, the website feels fresh and appropriate for the 21st century visitor. The quiz games, with names like “Follywood Squares” and “Phishing Scams” can also be fun for adults. You, too, may be surprised by what you didn’t know about protecting your online identity.
The site also includes short videos about topics like cyberbullying and thinking before you post that are great for the 10-to-14-year-old crowd.
Click on the images to try the games.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, through their program NetSmartz, offers short videos, games, and comics about how to use the Internet safely. Especially noteworthy: the site’s animated videos that chronicle the experiences of some high school friends as they deal with topics like privacy and cyberbullying. With fun storylines and colorful animations, the videos have the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon. They are a great resource to watch with a tween or young teenager. We recommend “Profile Penalty” and “Mike-Tosis.”