Summer Internet Safety Tips

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With school ending and summer approaching, children are likely to have more time on their hands to explore the internet. Sunday, May 25th, marks National Missing Children’s Day and provides a good opportunity to take time to talk with children about internet safety before the summer begins.

  • The key to successfully monitoring your children’s internet activities is to encourage open dialogue. Make sure they know they can talk with you about anything or anyone online that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened.
  • Talk with your children about what websites they like to visit and have them show you the websites themselves. Know your children’s interests and help them find fun and safe ways to explore those interests online.
  • Set limits on internet usage for your children and make a list of safe sites your children can visit freely during the summer. Talk with them about what information is not okay to share online, and to tell you if anyone online ever asks for that information.
  • Post all internet and computer rules visibly next to the computer and monitor regularly that the rules are being followed. Record your children’s usernames and passwords in a safe place, and make it a point to regularly monitor their online accounts for appropriateness and safety.
  • Keep all internet capable electronics – such as computers, smart phones, or gaming devices – in a family room for easy monitoring, and even consider collecting all smaller internet-capable devices in the evening to be kept in a parent’s room overnight for charging. Discuss with your children any rules you may have regarding internet usage at friend’s homes, libraries, and other internet-accessible places.

Talk with your children about the serious risks and dangers involved in using the internet, and why their safety online is important to you. Open communication with your children is essential to a safe summer online.

For more resources and tips on how to have an internet safety conversation with your child, visit www.take25.org. Created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Take25 Campaign encourages parents to have a 25-minute conversation with their children on May 25th to mark National Missing Children’s Day and promote child safety both on- and offline.

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