Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety Tips

Now more than ever before, kids are spending more and more time online. Whether this be for school or entertainment, the internet is the number one space for kids to spend their time. It is important to teach your children about digital citizenship and how to use the internet in a safe and responsible way. Here are some tips. 

 Set clear rules and boundaries

For the sake of safety, it is important that some rules be kept in place about what children are allowed to do on the internet. You may also have personal rules that you want to have in place. Some examples of good rules for everyone to follow online include…

  1. No sharing private information like addresses and bank information online. 
  2. Do not open links unless you know they are from a legitimate source.
  3. Do not share anything online that may get you in trouble with your school, family, or job. 

Teach them who it is ok to share information with

Much of social media allows for people all over the world to talk to each other who normally would not be able to. This can be a good thing, and allow your children to make friends and connections. However, it is also something to be cautious about, as there is no way to know who it is they are really talking to. Inform your child that unless they know the person they are talking to in real life, that they should not share their personal information. Also teach them that they should never meet an online friend without your permission and supervision. 


Look for and teach your children about warning signs

Internet safety can be a tough topic to talk about, but it is important that your child be able to recognize warning signs of unsafe online interactions. If they know what the signs are, they are less likely to put themselves in dangerous situations. Here are some warning signs to look for. 

  1. People online asking for personal information
  2. People online asking for pictures of your child 
  3. People online bullying your child or other children
  4. People online sending uncomfortable or inappropriate content to your child
  5. Anything that makes you or your child uncomfortable online should be addressed

Allow and encourage children to confide in you

While it is important to set firm rules about internet use, it is also important to remain calm and non-judgemental when your child makes a mistake online or tells you about something going wrong. This way, they know they can come to you when something or someone online makes them uncomfortable or may not be safe. 


Try social media Test Drive modules

On this website ( children can practice using social media in a safe and responsible way. The modules have the set up of a real social media feed, and teach students digital citizenship in a way that reflects how they would see it in real life.


Following These Tips Will Help Ensure Your Child Practices Internet Safety

It is crucial to teach your children all about the internet, and how to use it while also staying safe. Encouraging your child to have open communication with you is a huge start, especially after you have set clear rules, and taught them about warning signs. If you can remain calm when they make a mistake, this will help them feel confident in confiding in you if something seems off. If your child understands why the rules and boundaries are there, they are much more likely to follow them and stay safe.