Keeping Kids Safe Online Is A Family Affair

The Web offers many wonderful experiences for young people, so teaching them about Internet safety and providing them with the right “training wheels” is important.

A recent survey by Yahoo! found that although parents are taking steps to keep their children safe on the Internet, more frequent action is necessary:

  • 70 percent of parents talk to their children about online safety at least two to three times a year;
  • 45 percent of parents talk to their children about online safety at least once a month;
  • 74 percent of parents are connected to their children's profiles on social networking sites;
  • 71 percent of parents have taken at least some action to manage their children's use of the Internet or cell phones.
Technology is evolving at lightning speed and kids are among the first to adopt the latest and greatest gadgets and Internet services. It is important for parents to coach their children so they can develop the skills and behaviors needed to stay safe online.

Survey data shows that cyberbullying continues to be a concern for parents. While most parents are acutely aware of the potential issues, few are sure about what action to take.
  • 81 percent of parents know what cyberbullying is;
  • Only 37 percent of parents feel that they know what to do about cyberbullying;
  • Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of parents want their child's school to play an active role in teaching online safety and citizenship;
Yahoo! offers these tips for parents to pass on to their children:
  • Own your digital reputation. The Internet is a public space, so before sharing photos or personal details make sure it's info that you'd share with teachers, colleges or potential employers.
  • Keep your private information under your control. Keeping Internet conversations (and your user names/profiles) free of personal information such as passwords, your address or the name of your school is important.
  • Be nice! Be respectful online and treat people the way you would want to be treated. If someone is being disrespectful or bullying you, try to ignore that person and use privacy tools to block that person from contacting you again.
  • Know your rights. You have the right to not respond to e-mail or other messages that are inappropriate or make you feel uncomfortable. If you get a message that doesn't feel right, show it to a trusted adult and report it to your Internet service provider. Have a family chat. Talking with your parents or guardians doesn't mean giving up your privacy. Everyone benefits when you're on the same page about online activities.

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