What should I know about keeping my child safe online?

You cannot always know what your children are doing online, and may not be able to control everything they do on every device, website, or app.  However, you can be a good example for your child, keep your house safe, and educate them about online privacy and safety.

Why should I be concerned about my children’s online safety?

Your child is unsafe online if they are:

  • communicating and/or sharing personal information with strangers (particularly adults, or much older children)

  • receiving and/or sharing inappropriate content with friends

This may lead to dangerous offline situations, such as sexual exploitation, or cyberbullying.

How can I help my child stay safe online?

A good practice is to have shared rules around online privacy. You can use the privacy house rules tool to build a list that your family can use. You also can make sure your home wifi has a strong password, so others cannot access it.

More specifically, you can, help your child stay safe online by:

  • Talking to your child about what websites and apps and gaming consoles (e.g. PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo) they use regularly

  • Learning about the privacy settings of all the tools your child uses

  • Educating your child about what personal information is appropriate or inappropriate to share (or not share) online

  • Discussing the short and long-term implications of what your child shares

  • Discussing who to accept a “friend request” from, to prevent strangers from connecting with your child’s social media accounts

  • Educating your child about password safety, such as having hard-to-guess passwords and not sharing passwords with others

  • Having rules around meeting online friends in real life

Be a Good Example

The best way you can help your child stay safe online is by being a good example so they can learn from your actions about online privacy and safety.  You can do this by:

  • Only sharing personal information, photos, and videos with people you trust

  • Not accepting “friend requests” from strangers

  • Having strong and secure passwords

  • Logging out of online accounts when using shared devices

  • Being skeptical about information online and spotting fake news

For more information

Last updated: August 18, 2020 4006378