How can you keep your kids safe online?

Give your kids a safety net.


The internet provides us with endless content and answers to pretty much any question you could ask. But we all know the type of content you can accidently stumble upon when embarking upon a seemingly innocent search. Here are a few things to keep in mind and to assist your kids in using the internet safely.

Educate your kids

The most important thing you can do is to educate your kids to help them make smarter choices online. This includes teaching them to look after their (and your) privacy as well as how to deal with some of the more disturbing aspects (such as someone saying something inappropriate) by leaving the site immediately if they ever feel uncomfortable.

They also need to understand the commercial side of the internet, to be aware of what is actually advertising (even though it may not immediately appear to be), as well as how to recognise spam and how to deal with it

To get the most out of this valuable database, teach your kids how to use it as an effective research tool and provide them with the skills they need to be effective when searching for particular information. Ensure they understand that the information they will come across is not always reliable either.

Some useful approaches:

  • Spend time online together to show them the ropes.
  • Set some guidelines around usage and about what personal details they can (and more importantly should not) give out.
  • Keep the computer in a public space like your living area so you can keep an eye on it.
  • Talk to them and be open about their experiences online. Make sure they don’t think they will get in trouble for telling you that something bad has happened – you want to encourage open dialogue and discussion as much as possible.
  • Encourage your kids to treat others with respect and make sure they understand that this applies to the internet as much as ‘real life’.
  • Use filtering software or safe zones that block inappropriate content and stops them from giving out personal details.

For more information on keeping your children safe online checkout this information from the Australian government and the New Zealand police.