Have you had to have the talk with your kids about tech safety yet? If you haven’t, we have a treat for you! We are so excited to have guest author and Cyber Security Expert and all-around GEEK (his words) Dale Meredith share his specialty with us here again at Mommy Convos. Dale is a huge supporter of technology and loves all that it affords both him, his kids, and his grand-kiddos. He is not a proponent of doing away with cell phones, game consoles, and such. He’s all about helping kids stay safe and smart with the technology they use, not stopping the use of them. Today he’s sharing four tips to remember when you have the dreaded internet safety talk with your teens.
Talking to Your Teen About Tech Safety and the 4 Tips to Remember
The internet. A wide world of information just waiting to be unlocked. A great place to find
information, share stories, photos, or catch up with old friends. Sounds great, right? But what about all the dangers that come along with internet use? Especially for our kids. As adults, we can usually spot a scam and move on. But our kids just don’t have the knowledge or experience to understand what is happening online until it’s too late.
So, what do you do as a parent to keep your child safe on the internet?
Tip #1: Talk to Your Kids
Yes, you’ll have that dreaded internet safety conversation and get ready for the eye rolls and a little bit of attitude. Because it will happen. Trust me. But talk anyway. Explain to your kids, that while the internet is a wonderful tool, it can also be a dangerous place and you have to make good choices. Be honest. We tell our kids not to talk to strangers at the grocery store, the mall, or anytime they are out without us. Why should the internet be any different? If you are having a difficult time communicating with your teenager, check out this article or this article for helpful tips.
Tip #2: Build a Little Trust with Your Child
Remind them that if they come across something questionable, it’s ok to come to you with it. How many times have you searched for something and ended up on a sketchy website? It happens. When your child comes to you, try to keep your emotions in check and praise them for being honest and telling you.
Tip #3: You Are the Parent
Remember that you are the parent. It’s your job to keep your child safe.
That means that it is OK to say no. No to the internet, no to a device, and no to being on that
device all hours of the night. For more ideas on how to create healthy tech boundaries check out our last article here.
Tip #4: It’s Okay to Set Limits
The cool thing about most devices today is Parental Controls. Oh yes, this
has to be one of the best features of these devices. You can literally shut down devices after a
certain time, block inappropriate content, and set age restrictions to certain sites. Do it.
Of course, these parental controls don’t replace having a conversation with your kid about internet safety. And it
certainly won’t block all inappropriate sites, but it’s a good start. In our last article, we shared a fantastic security device called “The Circle”. This is a fantastic resource for parents to use. You can check out the article here for more info on all the amazing pros and cons of this device. Or click here for our affiliate link to purchase “The Circle” with a discount.
Today’s kids have information at their fingertips, but it’s not always good information. The
internet won’t tell your kids not to talk to strangers online. It certainly won’t tell them about
scams, cyberbullying or predators. That’s your job as the parent. If you don’t talk to your kid about the potential dangers on the internet, how do they know these even exist? Think about that for a minute.
Talk to your kids. And if they don’t listen, you have parental controls on your side. Use them.
My goal with my social media channels and blog is to share my tech knowledge with others. All with the intent to help families stay safe and smart with the technology everyone uses. To learn more about the why behind what I do click here.
Dale Dumbs IT Down
Bio: Dale Meredith of ‘Dale Dumbs IT Down’ is a well-known cybersecurity expert. Dale designed: Dale Dumbs IT Down social media sites as a way to educate parents on the knowledge they need to keep their families safe and smart with the technology in their lives.