Adults aren’t the only ones susceptible to online threats. With schools closed many students are completing their coursework and spending a significant amount of time online, increasing their chances of seeing something that isn’t intended for them. Parents and caregivers can help manage their child’s online use and teach them about the dangers and risks associated with being online. A family usage plan is a great way to talk about, set boundaries and promote healthy online use. Consider the following when managing a child’s online usage:
- Learn what apps are currently being used in your home. If your child is using an app, make sure you know how the app works, what it does, and why they are using it
- Avoid apps that encourage location sharing, are anonymous, allow random connections to strangers, and lack age monitoring or a report function
- Think about when and how long they will be online, where they will use their devices at home and what content they will have access to
- Teach your child about privacy and emphasize the risks of sharing their name, address, phone number, and inappropriate photos
Having open conversations together as a family and creating a routine sets expectations for everyone about what can be done online and what you will monitor. This is also a great way to discuss how to behave online and talk about what happens if your child sees something that makes them feel uncomfortable, sad, or scared.
For more information and tips on how to keep kids safe online, visit: MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/InternetSafety