As we’ve seen this past year, the internet and digital technologies offer a world of possibilities at our fingertips. However, these virtual opportunities also pose some risk.
Children and young people face online risks their parents never had to contend with. We still warn our kids to look both ways before crossing the street. Shouldn’t we be just as diligent to warn them about online danger including cyberbullying, predator baiting and identity theft?
Annual Safer Internet Day (#SID2021) is recognized by more than 100 countries worldwide, designed to build awareness around emerging online issues and create a safer and better internet for all of us.
The nonprofit ConnectSafely.org is once again hosting the official U.S. Safer Internet Day. The site provides resources and guidance on topics from social media and gaming to wellness and online abuse, including articles such as Parent’s Guide to Tech for Tots and The Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying.
Test your online safety skills
The #SaferInternetDay quiz from the UK Safer Internet Centre is designed for 8-13 year olds, but anyone can (and maybe should) take the test. For example:
“One of your favorite YouTubers is hosting a giveaway and you really want to enter. What do you do?”
“You’re watching a livestream of a popular gamer. They keep showing a cool new headset they’ve got and talking about how everyone should have one. They post a link in the chat where you can buy it too. What do you do?”
Great Plains Communications recommends these tips for children, youth and adults
- Be aware of strangers. Check the apps that your children want to use and verify the safety and privacy settings. Take Snapchat for example; if the “Send Me Snaps” settings aren’t changed to “My Friends,” any person with a Snapchat account can send your child pictures and messages. Same goes for the “Who Can View My Stories” settings that can, by default, allow “Everyone” to view your child’s videos and pictures posted to their stories.
- Keep private information private online. Just as you wouldn’t let your child hand out your credit card or address to any stranger on the street, make it clear that this also applies online.
- Monitor network usage and activate parental controls. Use apps and software to help you keep track of your household internet usage and shut down devices to control screen time and access to keep your children safe.
Another option for keeping your family safe online is GPC Whole Home WIFI powered by Plume®. Not only does it connect your home from end to end with consistent speeds, but it also helps you manage your network like a pro. You will be able to monitor all devices connected to your home network, including gaming consoles, cell phones and even smart TVs. Along with monitoring comes options to control how specific devices are allowed to access the internet. For example, you can set technology bedtimes for younger members of the family, turning off internet access between specific times. GPC Whole Home WIFI provides intuitive technology and reliability with the customization to fit your family’s needs. Find more information or sign up now here on our website.
And for more tips, resources and activities, visit Safer Internet Day 2021 Top Tips.