It’s back to school season, and the time of year when I often hear from parents who are concerned about internet safety. While we all know the basics – use strong, unique passwords, use two-factor authentication, avoid clicking links – it may seem difficult to explain online safety to your kids. Here are some guidelines for talking to kids of all ages about the internet.
As parents, it’s our job to model appropriate behavior. That might mean asking yourself some hard questions. One of the most important is: Do you overshare online? For example, are you sharing pictures of your kids without asking them? Asking for permission to post can be as simple as saying, “Hey, you know the cute picture that Aunt Judy took of you at your ballgame? May I share that with my friends online?” Be sure your kids know that anything posted online can become public, even if it’s set to private.” And if they ask you not to post, respect their wishes. Remember, yours will be the example they turn to when they’re teenagers and Instagramming every moment of their day.