Getting Started with Online Safety

You don't have to be a computer expert to keep your children safe online.

We want our children to be safe and responsible when they are online. To guide them in developing strong online safety habits, teach them to the 3C’s — appropriate contact, content, and conduct — in all their digital activities, including when they use portable media players like iPods, instant messaging, chat, computer games, game consoles, mobile devices, text messaging, and webcams:

  • Contact ―Teach children how to have healthy and appropriate relationships online, and explain your expectations for how they communicate online. Help them recognise and protect themselves from cyberbullies, hackers, phishers, and predators. Explain to them that unless we are communicating with people we know and trust, we never really know who is on the other end of a digital communication.
  • Content ― Communicate clearly your expectations for acceptable content. Is it healthy, responsible, ethical? This includes content that children both view and upload. Help them understand that the Internet is forever: Everything they post online is tracked and stored and will follow them to future job interviews, university entrance interviews, and beyond.
  • Conduct Teach children appropriate online behaviour. Help them understand that everything they do online contributes to their online reputation. Because the Web can feel anonymous, some young people become uninhibited online. Help them be the good people online that they are offline.

In addition to conveying the 3 C’s, three more simple guidelines will help you shape a safe, healthy online experience for your children:

KEEP CURRENT • KEEP COMMUNICATING • KEEP CHECKING

KEEP CURRENT with the technology your children use. You don’t have to be an expert, but a little understanding goes a long way toward keeping them safe online.

KEEP COMMUNICATING with your children about everything they experience on the Internet. Know their lingo. Ask when you don’t understand something.  Keep the lines of communication open.

KEEP CHECKING your children’s Internet activity. Know where they go online. Let them know that you'll keep checking because you want them to understand that the Internet is a public forum and never truly private. Everything they do online contributes to their digital reputation. Help them develop an online reputation that is an asset rather than a liability.

© iKeepSafe.org

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