School is starting soon for many. Between picking out the perfect outfit for the first day back or gathering school supplies, preparing for school has a lot of steps, and online safety should be near the top of the list. Check out these pointers for helping maintain your student’s safety online this school year.
Communication is step one!
Regular check-ins with your children allow you to be aware of who is in their life and what is going on in their day to day. Cheering them on for their ups and validating their downs helps children recognize their needs and feelings are important, and they will be more likely to share when something may be wrong.
Educate yourself and your kids.
The internet and technology are constantly changing. Parents and guardians need to stay up to date on the latest games, social networks, and online violence patterns. Doing so can also keep kids informed on what is safe and appropriate as they venture into the online world. Make sure to make clear that students should not be sharing their personal information, such as their date of birth or location, with anyone online.
Set up online rules, parental controls, and privacy settings.
Get familiar with the security settings of your student’s games, apps, and social media sites. Put parental controls in place to prevent your child from venturing into unsafe spaces online. Establish household rules for online time, such as keeping devices unlocked, and having online time being in a common area of the home.
Don’t shy away from the tough subjects.
Some subjects aren’t the easiest to go over, but they sometimes can be the most important. Talking to your dating-aged students about healthy online boundaries is vital. Take time to discuss issues such as dating violence and sexting. Make sure that it is understood that sexting can have consequences, and that once sent, they lose control over whatever was sent.
Online games, apps, and social media are here to stay. The more aware we are about these issues, the better we can work to support kids and teens in making informed decisions as they continue to use the digital resources available to them.
If you have any questions about online safety, Arkansas Valley Resource Center Staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
415 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050
TTY: (719) 384-1938
After Hours Colorado Relay dial 711 or 1-800-659-2656