25 Tips on How to Protect Our Families on the Internet
Today, February 5th, is Safer Internet Day and I’ll be sharing 25 Tips on How to Protect Our Families on the Internet.
This post is sponsored in partnership with Google and the Forward Influencer Network.
As a tech driven family, I find that we try to stay up to date on the latest technology. I also find that we use the Internet on a regular basis. It’s unlike when I was a kid – when I had to do my research at the library, using books, encyclopedias and newspapers. Or when I would watch programs on the television and the big thing was when DVDs began to replace VHS. Now, almost everything can be found on the Internet, which means it’s something our family is constantly using and there are dangers when need to protect our children from. As a mom, I want to protect my family and I bet you do too (whether you’re a mom, dad, grandparent, you name it). So what better time to share these 25 tips on how to protect our families on the internet than on Safer Internet Day!
5 tips to help you Be Internet Smart
- Be a positive presence online just like IRL (in real life). Remember, once something by or about you is online like a photo, comment, or message, it could stay online forever.
- Think before you post. It’s important to know when to post nothing at all – not to react to somebody’s post, photo, or comment or not to share something that isn’t true.
- Protect your secrets. Do not share your address, email, phone number, passwords, usernames or school documents with strangers.
- Donʼt assume that people online will see you the way you think theyʼll see you. Different people can see the same information and draw different conclusions from it.
- It’s always important to respect other people’s privacy choices, even if they aren’t the choices you’d make yourself. Different situations call for different responses online and offline.
5 tips to help you Be Internet Alert
- Double check a site for credibility. Before you click on a link or enter your password on a site you haven’t been to before, check that the siteʼs URL matches the product’s or company’s name and information youʼre looking for.
- Use secure websites. Make sure a website’s URL starts with https://with a little green padlock to the left of it.
- Don’t fall for scams. If the email or site offers something that sounds too good to be true, like a chance to make a lot of money, it’s almost always too good to be true. Don’t fall for the fake message.
- It can happen to anyone. If you fall for a scam online, tell your parent, teacher, or other trusted adult right away and change your passwords to your accounts immediately.
- Attention! Remember that website or ad canʼt tell if thereʼs anything wrong with your device! There are scams that may try to trick you into downloading malware or unwanted software by telling you that thereʼs something wrong with your device.
5 tips to help you Be Internet Strong
- Create a strong password. Choose at least 8 characters and use combinations of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols.
- Switch it up. Use a different password for each of your important accounts.
- Get creative. Donʼt use a password thatʼs easy to guess, like your nickname, just the name of your school, favorite basketball team, a string of numbers (like 123456), etc. And definitely don’t use the word “password”!
- Avoid getting personal. Donʼt use personal information (name, address, email, phone number, Social Security number, motherʼs maiden name, birth dates, etc.), or common words in your password.
- Don’t hesitate to change your password. Immediately change your password if you know or believe it may be known by someone other than a trusted adult.
5 Tips to help you Be Internet Kind
- Follow the golden rule! Treat others how you’d like to be treated, both online and IRL (in real life).
- Be an Upstander! An Upstander fights bad behavior and stands up for kindness and positivity.
- Example: Report the harassment. Tell someone who can help, like a parent, teacher, or school counselor.
- Do simple actions to turn negative interactions into positive ones.
- Example: If someone posts something negative online to a friend, get a bunch of friends to create a “pile-on of kindness” – post lots of kind comments about the person being bullied (but nothing mean about the aggressor, because you’re setting an example, not retaliating).
- Make good decisions when choosing what to say and how to deliver it.
- Example: Don’t type something online if you wouldn’t say it in real life.
- Spread kindness online.
5 tips to help you Be Internet Brave
- Found something negative? Say something! If you come across something that makes you feel uncomfortable or worse, report it – be brave and talk to someone you trust who can help, including a teacher, the principal, or a parent.
- Talk it out. Asking for help when you’re not sure what to do is a brave thing to do. If it’s to help you or someone heal something hurtful or stop harm from happening, it’s both smart and courageous.
- Report and/or block inappropriate content. Reporting can help the people involved, their community, and the platforms themselves if we use the tools to block and/or report on a site or app.
- Get proof. Before blocking or reporting inappropriate content, it’s always wise to take a screenshot so that you have a record of the situation.
- Don’t be afraid! If you receive a creepy message or comment from a stranger, show a trusted adult, block and report them.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful when it comes to protecting your family on Safer Internet Day. Be sure to Come Together for a Better Internet with your family by using Be Internet Awesome starting with the program’s NEW Family Guide and then encourage your kids to put their skills to the test with Interland at g.co/Interland. Encourage your child’s school to come together for a better internet too, by sharing Be Internet Awesome with their teachers. Also, have a conversation with your kids about how to be safe and smart online on SID and everyday by using the information you learned from Be Internet Awesome.
Happy Safer Internet Day! Let’s keep our families safe on the Internet!
Which of these tips have you implemented to keep your family safe on the Internet?