Teaching Kids to be Safe Online: 5 Smart Tips

February 5, 2019 19 By EngineerMommy

This is a sponsored post written by me for Google. This post is part of a campaign managed by the Forward Influence Network. All opinions are mine alone. #BeInternetAwesome #SaferInternetDay

Technology is part of everyday life. Whether we like it or not, our kids are exposed to technology on a regular basis. Even my 5 year old gets homework assignments that she must complete online. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure today’s kids are practicing safe online behavior. Thanks to Google’s Be Internet Awesome campaign, empowering our kids to be responsible digital citizen is easier than ever. This program include an ISTE standards-aligned curriculum, ready-made Pear Decks for each lesson, Interland (a super fun online game about digital safety) and useful tools for teachers & parents.

Did you know that today (February 5) is Safer Internet Day (SID)? This day celebrates the importance of joining together to create a better internet experience for everyone, particularly for children. With enough support, we can all come “together for a better internet“!

Visit Google’s Be Internet Awesome program to learn more about how you can teach your kids the fundamentals of online safety. This curriculum is available in both English & Spanish and it’s empowering students to explore the online world with safety & kindness in mind.  Also, share Be Internet Awesome with your child’s teacher to encourage local schools in your area to come together for a better internet. 

Here are my tips for discussing internet safety with kids.

1. Encourage open communication.

Keeping the lines of communication open is essential. Whether a stranger contacted them online or they’re unsure about a particular website, encourage your kids to discuss with you their online activities. Remind them to ask you for advice/guidance if there is ever any question or concern. Another smart tip to keep in mind is to place family computers in the common areas of the home (living room or kitchen) and make sure that kids have access to these devices only during the daytime.

2. Promote kindness.

Cyber bullying is a surprisingly common problem nowadays. Part of being a responsible digital citizen is explaining that cyber bullying is not acceptable. Teach kids that if a comment is considered rude or mean in person, then it’s also rude or mean to say online. Furthermore, if they witness cyber bullying online, they should stand up for the individual being targeted. If we all come together for a common goal, we can achieve a better internet indeed.

3. Keep information private.

Teach kids never to give out personal information to others online. This includes obvious details, such as home address, school name, phone number, etc. However, it also includes less obvious information, such as favorite mall to visit or upcoming vacation plans. If your child is old enough to have a social media account, make sure they don’t share any real-time information about where they are throughout the day. The Be Internet Awesome curriculum is giving students the skills they need to be Smart, Alert, Strong, Kind and Brave. 

4. Monitor kid’s online behavior.

Keeping track of a child’s online behavior is very important. Are they on social media? Which websites do they visit often? Get an app (there are dozens of free ones) that will let you monitor and set parental controls on their phone. If they browse the web on the computer, stay with them & monitor behavior.

5. Make it fun.

When it comes to teaching kids anything, making it feel more like playtime is always a good idea! Google has promoted online safety through their Be Internet Awesome for years now. By creating healthy digital habits with tech, it’s possible to show kids how to use the internet safely. What’s the best way to make it fun? Kids can now put their knowledge to the test with Interland – play here!

Interland is a fun, interactive online game that teaches the lessons of digital safety. The game asks a series of thought-provoking questions about online safety. In order to advance in the game, the student must select the correct answer. Sophia had a lot of fun playing Interland and she told me how she learned a few new things!

There are actually four different challenging levels to play! For example, in Kind Kingdom, the goal is to get to the top of the kingdom by spreading good vibes and nixing bad vibes. Even my younger daughter, Charlotte, enjoyed watching the game and wanted to have her own turn playing Interland!

Don’t forget to check out the Be Internet Awesome curriculum with your family and play Interland with the kids! 




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