3 fun ways to teach internet safety

There are many important lessons kids must learn about staying safe online and they’re not always easy to teach.  Here are some fun ideas to help.

We’re living in the digital age and our children are more active online than ever before.  Infact, did you know that 43% of 9-12 year olds and 88% of 13-16 year olds said that they had a social networking profile?  This research was conducted by the London School of Economics back in 2011.  Three years may not seem like a long time, but in internet years it’s an age – the proportion of our children actively social networking is likely to now be considerably higher.

With so many of our kids online, it’s crucial that we teach them about good internet safety – http://quib.ly is one great resource designed to help with this, the site is full of information and guidance for both parents and kids, and there are hundreds of other helpful sources out there too.  To get you started we’ve created a few fun tips and tricks to help you teach your little whizzkids how to look after themselves on the web..

Avatars & Cartoons
Teaching children about privacy is one of the most important parts of web safety for little surfers.  Of course they’ll want to be using all the same social networks as their friends, but keeping their details and identities private is often a big priority for parents.  Making sure they know never to share their photographs with strangers is crucial.

Why not sit down with your child and help them create a fun avatar or cartoon of themselves they can use to build a secure online identity?  You can take the opportunity to talk about the importance of never sharing images with strangers and the fact that not everyone online is what they seem.  We particularly like DoppleMe for an easy interface and lots of choice and Smurf Yourself for some Smurfy fun and games!

The “bad thing” button
Kids need to know that there are things online which are not suitable for them.  If they do come across something that makes them feel confused or uncomfortable it’s important that they know to close it and come and talk to you.  Why not install a “bad things button” (you can buy fun, stick-on ‘panic’ buttons for keyboards all over the web)?
Teach your child to press this symbolic button then come talk to you if they ever come across something they don’t like online.  You can practice by making a slideshow of things they don’t like in real life like broccoli and homework – just let them know that these bad things can take many forms and it’s ok to talk to you about them at any time.

Online stranger danger is a big concern for most parents with web savvy kids.  Of course all parents should have good parental controls on the computer, but if your little one does come into contact with strangers, it’s crucial they know what to do and what not to do.  Keeping their information private is crucial.  Why not design a series of flashcards with questions like “What’s your name?”, “Where do you live?” etc printed on them.  The correct response is always “I’m sorry I don’t share my information online”.  Make sure there are fun rewards for getting the answer right to condition the right response.

Of course there are lots of other issues to teach your kids about on the web, these are just a few methods to get you talking to your children about internet safety.  communication is the key and every child is different – so start opening up today.

“Posted in collaboration with Quib.ly”

18 thoughts on “3 fun ways to teach internet safety

  1. Very informative. My son has a small online presence, but luckily for me, he sticks to his games console and rarely goes on social media. I love the internet and how it brings people together, but there is a darker side which we need to teach our children about, and protect them from too.

  2. Great ideas. I do worry about my son's safety online as he gets older but don't want to stop him exploring and enjoying the internet. I really like the idea of the flashcards.

  3. Great post and fantastic tips, it really is essential to make kids aware of the dangers, schools talk about it, with the back up of the police but parents need to re-enforce the message as well. The avatar is a great idea.

  4. Mine are a little too small for internet safety at the moment as they don't use it but we've already started talking about it. I think helping children prepare for it helps a lot x

  5. I know I have all this to come – mine are a little bit too small at the moment, but are all the time asking for this or that on Youtube…. Even for a regular internet use it's a bit of a nightmare knowing where to start for kid's safety thanks for this – will keep aside for later!

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