As a parent, keeping your child safe is a priority. You teach your kids about safety every day, from looking both ways before crossing the street, to never taking a drink from a stranger. But the modern world is full of unexpected dangers, and many families aren’t doing enough to protect their kids from online threats – including cyber-bullying.
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber-bullying is activity taking place online or via text message with the intent to harm or humiliate a person. It’s often used to spread malicious gossip or otherwise destroy or discredit someone’s reputation. It can also refer to stalking behavior.
Protecting Our Youth
You probably remember the fear of the Internet that was instilled in parents in the 1990s. You may have even been a young person in those early days, when anonymous chat rooms were a thrilling, if risky, way to meet people. There was a general assumption back then that someone on the Internet could be anyone.
These days, the Internet is a lot less anonymous. Social media has given a face to the Web, and kids are just as likely to socialize online with peers and classmates as shady strangers with false identities. However, this doesn’t mean that the Internet is completely safe or that kids and teens – and adults, for that matter – should throw caution to the wind.
Teaching Basic Internet Safety
Here are a few important lessons to teach your kids when it comes to the Internet:
- Nothing online is guaranteed to be 100% secure. There is always a certain level of risk associated with using the Internet, whether you’re buying shoes or posting to a diary. Remind your children to think carefully about the potential risks of information falling into the wrong hands before deciding to post something online.
- The Internet never forgets. As soon as you post something or hit “send” on a message, it’s gone – you may never have the chance to undo it. Tell your kids not to be lulled into security by being able to delete their posts. You never know who might have saved screenshot or if someone could pull up a cache later.
- There are still strangers on the Internet. While most people your child meets online are probably exactly who they say they are, there are still plenty of people who hide their identities or lie in order to get others to trust them. Caution your child to be very careful about disclosing personal information online.
- Ask for help if you’re not sure. The Internet is a big place. It’s so huge that no one could ever hope to see it all in their lifetime – and it’s constantly growing. This means that there’s always a chance of finding strange or unexpected things online. If a child encounters something they don’t know how to deal with, they should always feel comfortable coming to you for help. Together, you can decide what to do.
SonicSEO.com cares about the safety of our children and community. We encourage you to have a talk today with your son or daughter about the Internet and how to stay safe. We also hope you’ll check back in with us for our future blog posts, where we give more tips for safe browsing for the whole family.