Parents and Internet Safety – What does it mean to Stay Safe Online?

When we talk about “Internet Safety”, that generally means:

  • Keeping your private information private – personal information, including passwords, your home address, inappropriate images, and gossip
  • Keeping a simple online profile that doesn’t reveal too much about you and what you do, including your daily schedule.
  • Keeping a good reputation online  – because everything you post is forever.
  • Acting responsibly and respectfully to avoid things such as cyberbullying and inappropriate content


Common Sense Media is a great resource to help you get more comfortable with your child’s technology use.  Three pieces of advice paraphrased from their 2012 brochure, Digital Literacy & Citizenship in a Connected Culture, are:

  1. Don’t be afraid.. Our kids adopt technologies faster than we do. That means they’re often way out in front of us. This fact can upset the parent-child relationship. So get in the game.  Have your kids show you how to do something online that you don’t know.
  1. Share wisdom. Kids often don’t understand the implications of their actions – but parents do.  We teach kids to choose their words carefully, play nicely with others, and respect their teachers. Now we have to extend our basic parenting wisdom to the digital world.
  1. Pass along your values. One of the most important jobs of parenting is instilling in your kids the values you cherish. But in a digital world, actions are often divorced from consequences; kids can be anonymous, and kids aren’t face to face with the people they communicate with.  Your family values apply to the digital world also, so pass them along.

When you search online for “internet safety”, you’ll find many wonderful resources to help you learn how to help your child stay safe.  Start learning at Common Sense Media and at Stay Safe Online.

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