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Would you leave your front and back door open whilst your kids are at home?

Online preditorsKeeping our kids safe from online predators is something we all must be aware of. Once upon a time we would keep our kids safe by simply making sure the front and back door of our house was locked before they went to bed. Today, if your kids have any public profiles on sites such as: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, ooVoo, Snapchat, MSM Messenger, YouTube or Kick –  to name a few, then your front and back door is open 24/7. If you have kids that are using computers then we need to be knowledge up and prepared to understand what the risks are! There is no excuse for not understanding social media and the danger that it can bring to your child.

This video has a very clear and simple message and should be watched with you kids…

Here are some tips to keep your kids safe online and points for discussion

  • Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number.
  • Think carefully about posting pictures or video’s of your self.
  • Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
  • Never give out your passwords
  • Don’t befriend people you don’t know.
  • Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online, speak to your parents or a trusted adult about people who suggest you do.
  • Remember that everyone online is not who they say they are.
  • Think carefully about what you say before posting it online.
  • Respect other peoples views, if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude.
  • If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off the computer if you want to and tell your parent or a trusted adult.

Some ideas to staying safe at home

  • Keep the family computer in an open area such as the lounge, kitchen or a room where it can be monitored.
  • Understand the sites and technology your kids use and know who they are talking to.
  • Create a list of online “rules” with the family e.g. time limits, list of ok sites to visit.
  • Educate your kids so they not to give out personal details without parental knowledge.
  • Make sure your kids know what to do and where to go if they encounter cyber -bullying.
  • Regularly sit with your kids when they are online and look over there shoulder. Let them know you are keeping track of there online activity.
  • Talk about online risks and what to watch out for and how you can be tricked.
  • Reinforce positive behaviors and values in the online world.
  • Install software or services that can restrict, block or filter offensive websites.
  • We cant ignore technology, kids and teens will use them, if they are not using it at home then they may use it at a friends house or in the school yard? so the best course of action is to discuss openly and educate.