I was approached by Verizon and asked to share this guest post with you which was written by Cliff Lee. Check it out, it has a lot of valuable information concerning our kids’ safety on the net. My kids love the internet, so I will definitely take heed. I hope this information will be of help to you too.
For many families, summer is a time to reconnect. Except for some time at the beach or in the mountains, summer vacation also means the kids are spending more time at home. And with the importance of the Internet in all our lives, it also means they’re more than likely spending even more time online where internet safety will become a factor.
That means it’s a good time to reconnect with the kids about a few rules of the road when it comes to the information superhighway.
Here are some common sense tips courtesy of Verizon, one of the largest Internet service providers in the world, that might help make the Internet discussion with the kids a little easier.
- Make it clear there are rules for online activities and clearly spell out those rules. Your kids are in school the rest of the year, where they have specific rules to follow, so the transition can be easy at the onset of summer vacation.
- With the evolution of social networking sites, be sure your kids know they should not share any personal information that might endanger them or family members and friends. The same goes for online games and applications.
- Beware of free downloads because not all may be “free” or safe. With demand for online music, movies, television and other online media burgeoning, some download sites have become an attractive venue for cyber crooks.
- June may be Internet Safety Month, but there are tons of resources available to parents year round from organizations such as WiredSafety.org or WebWiseKids.org or Verizon Parental Control Center. Take advantage of them. A national effort by government and industry, led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group, the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign seeks to educate people about how to stay safe and secure online.
- If don’t have Internet security software, get it. If you have it, make sure it’s up to date.
- Finally, summertime delivers beautiful days that make it easier to get kids involved in outdoor activities such as sports, camp or extracurricular classes that appeal to their special interests.
“So many of the things kids do online today,” says Verizon security expert Wade Baker, “from using social media to keep in touch with school buddies to downloading movies and music, can carry some risks. Like sunscreen and staying hydrated, cyber safety is just as important in making sure they stay safe during summer vacation.”
If you’ve got some other internet safety tips you’d like to share with parents, please tell us what they are so we can do just that.