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9 Cybersafety Tips for Kids You Must Know

Computers are an integral part of everyone’s lives, including our kids .  With the computer and the internet as common as TV , how do you teach your children to use the it properly?  After all, with the interactive nature of the internet, your child will come into contact with many other people if you allow him to browse online or send email.  So how can you teach your child proper internet and email protocol ?

Email is not quite like regular mail .  Often email comes across differently than a letter and its interactive nature can lead to some misunderstandings .  Here are some tips you can review with your tween to make sure he understands how to use email effectively.

  1. Keep you email address book up to date – people change email handles all the time now , so be sure to update your address book with new emails and delete the old ones.
  2. Send messages with care – with the autofill option and confusing screen names, you want to stress that your daughter should be careful when filling out the To section of the email.  They’ll want to double and triple check that the email is only going to the people they want it to. 
  3. Ack – I Hit Reply All – teach your children the difference between the Reply option – where the email only goes to the person who sent it and the Reply All option, where the mail will go to everyone on the list.  Very often it’s not appropriate to reply to everyone.
  4. Say no to Spam – Sure your kids may know about the processed meat in a can, butSpam just ins’t somehting in a can, so   teach them about spam on the internet.  Chain letters, jokes and sob stories have been circulaating their way around the internet for years, but there is no reason you children need to keep the chain going.  Before they forward something they think is funny to their whole address book have them stop and think if it’s appropriate to do so, and if it’s just garbage that will clutter up an in box
  5. Emails Get Around – Even more so than a physical letter , emails can be forwarded to anyone, anywhere .  Be sure to tell your kids on the importance of not putting anything in an email they wouldn’t want anyone else to see – like “I can’t stand so and so…” They may think emails are safe , but as parents well know, that’s not really the case at all.
  6. Watch out for Cyberbullies – unfortunately your kid will be the victim of hurtful things on email or the Internet – make sure your tween feels comfortable telling you about anything inappropriate – from peers making rude comments to strange emails .  And do something about it – contact the email sender, the website, even school officials.  Suggest your child change his or her email or social networking account, or better yet, take a rest from email and internet until the situation blows over or you have gotten to the bottom of it.

Internet methods can be tricky for both parents and kids , but it’s critical that you teach your children the dos and don’ts of email and social networking so they learn the proper way to use these great technological tools.


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