9 Internet Safety Reminders During School Closures
With so many school closures across the globe amidst the COVID-19 crisis, we are seeing many companies step up and offer free online learning resources for families. This is a tremendous help to all parents who may be working from home and need educational tools and entertainment for their children, but with kids spending more time online, it’s time to refresh what we all know about internet safety.
We don’t want to discourage parents from using these sites, they are valuable tools and sanity savers during this unknown time. But we do just want to remind everyone that with more screen time comes more responsibility for parents to check those devices!
CEO and Founder of Child Rescue Coalition Carly Yoost says,
”While adhering to the recommended guidelines of staying home and practicing social distancing, we need to give ourselves a break from the typical parenting guilt of screen-time restrictions. We need to use everything available to us to keep our kids happy, educated, and free from illness. This will undoubtedly include more time on devices and staying connected socially. Let’s use this time at home to reinforce safe internet guidelines.
A great way to do this is to use devices with your children and get a better understanding of places they go online. This is a wonderful time to be educating children about the importance of online safety.”
Since many parents are using these online curriculums and learning apps, we thought we’d share some reminders of how to keep children safe FROM child predators when connected to the internet.
9 Internet Safety Reminders for Parents During School Closures
- Try not to allow children to have their phones, laptops, or tablets in their bedrooms. A connection to the internet not only gives your child access to adult content, but also allows others to contact your children through video game chats, social media apps, and chat rooms. Have your kids work or play near you, and if you are working, give your child or yourself headphones!
- Always check your children’s devices, search history, what they are posting, as well as their emails, texts and social media direct messages daily. If it’s too much work and parents don’t have time, then limit the apps your children have for you to manage.
- Have the talk with your children about internet safety and online predators, and let them know that it’s not just stranger danger.
- Always have social media accounts turned to private and turn off location tracking. Also, on an iPhone, make sure you set your camera to NEVER allow your child’s location to be seen. To do this go to Settings>Privacy>Location Services (ON) >Camera set to NEVER.
- Use an app like Bark to monitor your children’s devices. Let these apps do the work for you so you can focus on your family!
- Don’t feel guilty about screen time, but DO make sure you are paying attention.
- Be on the lookout for signs your child might be a target of a predator. (Read those here.)
- Sign a contract with your kids so they understand the rules of the online road during this time away from school
- Don’t forget to have fun with your kids and learn how to play some of their favorite games with them. When you show an interest, your kids will open up to you and be more willing to share!
We know that this is a hard time for all of us as we wait to see what happens in our country and across the globe, but we are in this together. And even though our offices are closed to keep our employees safe, we are still working to keep all kids safe.
You can read all of our safety tips here on our Education page.