Today, children and teenagers are living in an ever-changing world of technology. Often times, parents are not prepared or equipped with the tools they need to help navigate their children through it safely. While the world wide web opens multiple opportunities for children to learn and grow, it can leave them vulnerable to exploitation and harm from unknown users across the world.
With the help of The City of Fort Collins, we’ve put together some tips for keeping your children safe on the Internet:
Be Candid with Your Kids
Talk to them about the potential dangers of the internet including everything from computer viruses to false information to predators.
Spend Time with Your Children Online
Make sure you know what sites they are spending time on, and consider keeping your internet-connected computers in an open area.
Utilize parental settings for things such as blogs, instant messages and chats.
Instruct your children to never do the following and consider keeping a post-it attached to the computer as a reminder:
- Never give out personal information online
- Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online
- Never post pictures of themselves on the internet or electronically send photos
- Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene or harassing
If you or your children experience harmful activity, please report it to the authorities. The Fort Collins Police Department offers a free course for parents, tweens (9-12) and teens (13+). Go to www.fcgov.com/police/internet-safety.php for more information on keeping kids safe online as well as get the dates for upcoming classes.