How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online
By Fin Sheridan
If you’re 26 or below, it’s quite hard to imagine a world without the internet. Even if you’re older than that, your pre-online life might be more of a known fact rather than a memorable reality. We use it so much, often without even thinking about it or realising that’s what we’re doing.
The other day, I heard my friend talking about his son. Before his son could talk, he could use an iPad. Whatever you think about that, it’s not an uncommon situation. There’s no going back either; the internet isn’t going away and each generation that grows up in the digital age will be even more savvy on it then before.
Savvy in terms of being able to use it but what about savvy when it comes to safety? There, parents must step forward into the often confusing world of snaps, social media and the web. However good they are at using iPads and computers, children and young adults need guidance on what the implications of all this means. Maybe now, more than ever before.
Maybe these three words will help you start a conversation with your kids about their lives, online?
I’m in my late 20’s and I use these three words as a reminder, a rudder to steer me as I live out a very online-connected lifestyle. Perhaps they’ll help you frame a conversation with your children and teenagers about how to be safe online…
The Internet is SIGNIFICANT. A quick google of your name can bring up a lot of information about you. That information might shape your chances of getting a job, a date, a friendship, for better or for worse. It might not feel real, but what happens online can have massive real world effects.
The Internet is INSTANT. The moment that you put something up online, it’s there. That means your first reaction can often be the one that you publicly display to the world. Is that a good thing?
The Internet is PERMANENT. Even if you delete something. Just because you changed your mind and got rid the post/picture, doesn’t mean that someone hasn’t already seen it (INSTANT) and saved it, screen-shotted it or cached it. I’ll say it again: The Internet is PERMANENT. I don’t know about you but there’s not many things that I like to have as a permanent feature in my life. Be wise about what you post online.