With all the distractions of the summer vacation ahead of us, let’s make sure we take a moment to remind ourselves and our children of the precautions we need to be taking to stay safe online.

  1. Password Safety

    Remind your kids not to share their passwords with others, and make sure you don’t fall into the habit of auto-storing your passwords which can easily compromise your accounts.

    Have the same password in use across many of your accounts? Maybe it is time to change things up so that if one account gets compromised, access won’t be obvious for all of your personal accounts.

  2. Online Chat

    Encourage your kids to talk about their online friends, including any new ones they have made.

    Educate your children about cyber bullying and what is acceptable chat behaviour, and also what to do if they are being bullied themselves.

    And remind your children (and yourselves!) that just because it isn’t a face to face conversation, that doesn’t mean that golden rule doesn’t apply. If what you have to say isn’t something you would say to someone’s face, make it clear that it isn’t acceptable to say it in online chat either.

  3. The Visibility Factor

    Keep the family computer in a visible, accessible space, rather than tucked away in a child’s bedroom, so that you can keep an eye on your child’s activity online.

  4. Beware of Stranger Danger

    More than ever, this time of year it is especially important to remind your kids that personal details should be kept private online and that strangers asking them for personal information are a sign of trouble.

  5. Site Registrations

    Rather than give away personal information, create an email address for the family to use for subscriptions to online services, and keep an eye on the types of mail coming to this mailbox.

  6. Set the ground rules

    Whether you install a parental control software to enforce it or simply make a verbal pact, make sure you make it clear to your kids what kinds of online sites are off limits and what sort of surfing falls within acceptable use. Make it clear what kind of response you expect if they do encounter something inappropriate in their online activities.

  7. Communication is Key

    And regardless of whether you have a web filter installed or not, encourage open communication with your kids about what they are seeing on the Internet and how that makes them think/feel. Maintaining this open channel of communication and trust is critical to your child’s personal confidence and sense of responsibility as a digital citizen, not to mention their personal confidence and sense of worth as your child

Click here to download free tools to help you and your family stay safe online this summer.