Our children are growing up in an online world, where the internet, apps and interactive gaming is as common as television, books and movies. From their context, the technology has always existed, and they don’t view their online activity with the same concern and caution we do. Children and youth only see a screen that interacts and responds based on the buttons they tap. They have no regard to the risks that may be playing out in the background.
Our role as parents is to educate our children to the risks and to establish solid safety strategies for ongoing best practice in the online world. Children need safe and rewarding experiences, and parents must help to guide their behaviour and ensure protection.
Here is a list of 10 Agreements for Online Safety for Children and Parents
1. My parents and I have set up rules for using the internet and mobile devices; we agree to the time of day I can be online and appropriate sites for me to visit.
2. I will check with my parents before downloading or installing any software or apps on a computer or mobile device.
3. I will never share personal information such as my name, address, phone number, email, school name, parent’s work information, credit card, photos or passwords without my parent’s permission every time.
4. I will tell my parents immediately if I come across a message or comment that makes me feel nervous or uncomfortable. I do not respond to the message.
5. I will always talk with my parents if someone I have ‘met’ online wants to meet in person. I will make sure one of my parents or a trusted adult comes with me and we will meet in a public place.
6. I will not give out my passwords to anyone (even my best friends) except my parents.
7. I know that things I read online aren’t always true, so I check the information with a parent or trusted adult.
8. My parents and I agree on a time in the evening to turn off computers and mobile devices. I do not use phones and tablets after bedtime hours.
9. I share my passwords and online activity with my parents whenever they ask for it. I understand they want this information to make sure I am safe and protected.
10. I always treat people nicely online. I make sure my comments are polite and friendly and never rude, threatening or against the law.