Teach your kids how to stay safe online

When was the last time that you talked to your kids about how to stay safe online? If it has been awhile, now might be a good time to have a chat. 

With this being spring break, a lot of kids may be spending more time than usual online, surfing the Internet, connecting on social media or through online games. As result, our kids could be at greater risk for cyberbullying, predators, privacy breaches and scams. 

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Although our kids may have learned some safety tips through school or friends, it is really important for parents to be talking to them as well about how to stay safe online and what to do if they get into a difficult situation.

Teach your kids about the importance of thinking before they post pictures or statements that could lead to harm later. Remind them that this information could end up in places that they had not intended and could stay online for a long time. Warn them about keeping personal information private such as their name, where they live or go to school, or other information that someone could use to scam them or harm them. 

And, also warn them about being careful before agreeing to meet up in person with someone that they have only met online. Remind them that what they see or hear online may not always be accurate and could be dangerous. And, most important, keep the lines of communication open with your kids about their online activity, monitoring what you can, and letting them know that they can come to you with any concerns that they may have about what they see or hear.

There are a number of really great articles and resources, including sites like Netsmartz.org, the FBI, and the National Cyber Security Alliance
 

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