10 Tips to Keep your Kids Safe Online

With Back to School around the corner, it’s time to think Safety. Crossing the street, getting on and off the school bus, and stranger safety for my preschool aged kids. And for the tweens and teens, this is a good time to talk Internet Safety.  I found these 10 online safety tips are excellent and in a few years as my kids get older,  I know I’m going to really need to add Internet Safety to the list of things I worry about as a Mom.
Research shows that 62 percent of moms are just as worried about their teenagers’ online safety as they are about drunk driving. With kids heading back to school, and back to the computer, McAfee’s Chief Cyber Security Mom, Tracy Mooney, provides parents with 10 helpful tips to keep their kids safe online.
Parents Should be Mindful of the Following Back to School Online Safety Tips:
1) Don’t Talk to Strangers -Teach your kids to ignore emails and instant messages from people they don’t know.

2) Don’t Make Play Dates – Make sure your kid knows never to have an in-person meeting with anyone they met online

3) Hall Monitors are Needed - Monitor your children’s use of the Internet. With McAfee Family Protection, adults can say “yes” to children’s online interests knowing exactly where they learn and explore even if an adult isn’t in the room

4) Start a Conversation – Encourage children to talk about bad experiences they are having and if something makes them feel uncomfortable

5) Pick on Something their Own Size - Use browsers for kids and kid-oriented search engines. McAfee’s SiteAdvisor is a great free tool that can prevent your children from visiting malicious sites

6) Encourage Show and Tell – Educate your children about online dangers to help prevent risky situations. For tips on keeping your computer and kids safe, please visit www.mcafee.com/advice

7) Nothing is “Free” - Remind children to avoid free downloads like screensavers, surveys and online club registrations as these “freebies” can include hidden spyware and adware programs
8) Teamwork is the Key – Work with your child to discuss boundaries of what is appropriate and what isn’t. Sign a pledge together to ensure ultimate protection
9) Monitor their Free Time – Set strict time limits to online surfing and ban late-night use
10) Protect Your Families’ Personal Info – McAfee® Internet Security offers trusted eight-in-one protection from identity thieves, spammers, and predators, ensuring a worry-free experience for you and your kids. It filters offensive content and pictures that a predator may send, and blocks inappropriate web sites
Thanks to McAfee’s Chief Cyber Security Mom Tracy Mooney for these tips.
Tracy, a mother of three and real estate agent from a Chicago, Illinois suburb, is a regular Mom with the same concerns and worries that you have. She blogs about family Internet safety issues—issues that keep parents awake at night—and shares her experiences and expertise to help you stay safe online. To learn more about Tracy and to read her helpful tips, visit her blog at www.mcafee.com/mom.
About Colleen Padilla

Colleen Padilla, the founder and editor of ClassyMommy.com lives in the Philly suburbs and is a full time mom for her 2 children, Mackenzie (7) and Kyle (5). Colleen and the Classy Mommy website have been featured on Fox News, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, The New York Post, local Philadelphia ABC, CBS, and NBC programs. Colleen has appeared in a TV special about Alpha Moms on South Korea’s NBC affiliate SBS. She also co-authored The Digital Mom Handbook (HarperCollins).

Comments

  1. Laura says:

    I think #2 needs to be changed a bit. Both my husband and I have friendships that originated online and are now “IRL” friendships (where we have have even taken vacations with those people as a destination, in fact we just had a huge gathering of people I met online dating back to 2001, some flying from Ireland and Canada to meet up). AND a lot of schools are now doing interschool learning where kids only know each other virtually. And with blogging conferences and the like, it is too hypocritical to say “never do a playdate with someone you met online.” (And we know kids can identify a hypocrite faster than you can say ice cream.)

    Perhaps a caveat of “not without parents’ permission/knowledge/supervision” and an age appropriate explanation of WHY (and if it is a valid online friendship with someone their own age who has no ill designs on your child, THAT child’s parents should also want to know your kids parents before anyone meets… Essentially an online extension of the “no you can’t go to Bobby’s house until I’ve met Bobby’s mother/father/guardian” that my mom kept in tact until I was in charge of my own transportation (and even then I couldn’t spend the night at someone’s house unless they knew not only the kid but the parents too).

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