7 things to teach your kids about internet safety

Keeping children safe from online threats starts with awareness. Share these seven tips with your kids, so they can enjoy the internet’s benefits safely.

Getting a child their first phone is a mile­stone that can cause distress for parents. Security soft­ware that includes parental controls, screen time and content filtering helps in protecting children from the internet’s dangers.

In addition, you should have a talk with your child about safe online behavior. Agree on digital rules, just like you have agreed on rules for keeping the room tidy, doing home­work, being polite and having bed­times. Encourage your children to become well behaved, safety-conscious digital citizens with the following tips.

Internet safety tips for kids

1. Talk to adults if you see some­thing upsetting

There is a lot of content online that might make you feel bad. If you see some­thing scary or disturbing, close the web­site, app or video, and tell your parents about it. Seeing some­thing like that is not your fault at all and it is always good if you tell adults about it.

2. Be nice

Treat others with respect online, just like you do in real life. Behave politely and take other people’s feelings into account when you chat with them, comment on their photos or play games together. Being kind yourself will make the internet a nicer place. Don’t leave anyone out or bully others. If you see cyber­bullying, stand up for others and tell adults.

3. Be suspicious

You can learn wonderful new things on the internet, but there is also a lot of false information. Keep in mind that anyone can post things online and not every­thing you see is true. Beware of fake news, ads that try to trick you to click by offering rewards, and unknown down­loads that could contain viruses or malware. If some­thing feels too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Be careful with strangers

Your internet friends are different from real-world friends. You shouldn’t tell them every­thing that you can tell your real friends. Some­times people online pretend to be some­one they are not. Tell your parents if you feel uncomfortable about a chat with your online friend even if they ask you to keep a secret. Never meet with a stranger in person without your parents’ approval and presence.

5. Keep private information to yourself

Your pass­words, location, home address, phone number, school name and other personal information only belong only to you and your parents. Don’t share this information with anyone else. If some­one gets a hold of your login credentials, they can pretend to be you or steal information from your accounts. You should have a different pass­word for every account. Ask help for creating and storing pass­words from your parents.

6. Avoid too much screen time

It is easy to lose track of time when you are having fun online. How­ever, too much screen time is not good for you. You should also have enough time for active play, exercise, school­work and friends. Agree with your parents, when and where you can use your devices. For example, phones and other devices do not belong to dinner table and should not be used after bed­time in many families.

7. Share photos only with people you know

Sending your pictures to strangers is not a good idea. Only share your personal photos with your family members. When you appear in photos, make sure you are fully clothed. Never post pictures about others online without asking their permission.

Protect your kids’ safety online with F‑Secure TOTAL

These tips and a comprehensive security product help children start using their new devices safely. F‑Secure TOTAL is an all-in-one security package that protects your family’s devices and online activities.

F‑Secure TOTAL allows you to enforce screen time limits and filter inappropriate content on your children’s devices. You can also store pass­words in a secure vault and access them on any device. TOTAL sends you alerts if your personal information has leaked online.

In addition, TOTAL keeps your children’s devices safe from malware in case they accidentally down­load malicious files or click harmful links. With the VPN included in TOTAL, you can access your family’s favorite content while traveling and keep your browsing data private. TOTAL includes up to 25 licenses so you can protect your whole family’s devices with the same sub­scription.

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