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Keeping Children Safe by Being Internet Savvy

Keeping Children Safe by being Internet Savvy

The face of the way we communicate has changed rapidly over the past 20 years. Bullying used to take place in schools and parks, but with the advent of new technologies bullying can happen anywhere.

Children used to take refuge from playground bullies at home, but with the internet readily available to many children, and more and more young people carrying cell phones instances of cyber-bullying are increasing at an alarming rate.

Chat rooms, Blogs, Facebook, My Space and other social media sites, e-mail, instant messengers,

Teens use cell phones and the internet to connect with each other. It is easy to use electronics to bully others.

and online gaming and text messaging are just a few ways children are being bullied. Often, as parents, we don’t even know when our children are being abused by others online.

Although it may be difficult to tell when a child is being subjected to the abusive behaviour of others unless they come to an adult for advice. One thing we can watch for is our children being upset after being on the internet or receiving text messages.

HOW TO HELP

  • encourage your children to share offensive or abusive e-mails, posts, and texts with a trusted adult
  • encourage them to use only moderated chat rooms that help curtail abusive behaviour
  • teach them to no respond to abusive posts or e-mails
  • help them learn to keep their passwords safe and be cautious about who they give their e-mail address or cell phone number to
  • be sure to turn on child safety features installed on your computer
  • teach them to think about how their actions may affect others, and to think twice before hitting send on any post or e-mail

Keep your child safe by teaching them not to give out personal information when online.

Make sure you children understand they should never arrange to meet someone you have only been in touch with online. This can be extremely dangerous. Online friends are still strangers.


One simple way to keep them safe is to encourage them to only accept e-mails, instant messages, or texts from people they know and trust.

Teach children that all information online may not always be reliable! There are many people out there who create fake “profiles” with only the intention of meeting and abusing others. In almost all cases its best to only chat online with real world friends and family.

Make sure your children know that if they are uncomfortable, or are being bullied they can come to you or another trusted adult for help. Keeping our children safe online and teaching them how to use a technology as a tool for healthy entertainment, information and communication will help them become a prudent, happy, healthy productive members of society.

Information for this article comes from Childnet International and KidSMART.org.uk

Article written by

Judy is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including care giving. Trained as a ready to learn consultant, she works with Head Start organizations and child care resource centers.

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One Response to “Keeping Children Safe by Being Internet Savvy”

  1. Judge Tom Says:

    Good article about cyber-safety! Another resource for teens to learn about the consequences of Internet and cell phone behavior is “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” published in January, 2010 and endorsed by Dr. Phil on April 8, 2010. TCI presents real stories of teens in trouble over their e-mails, text messages, blogs and Facebook posts. Teenagers learn from the experiences of their peers and TCI gives them a lesson on unintended consequences. England’s CyberMentors has contributed to TCI and cases from Britain are included. Thanks for looking at http://www.freespirit.com [TCI’s publisher].
    Judge Tom.