14 Tips To Keeping Your Kids Safe in the Digital World

In 2024, we can all stand to protect ourselves a little more when we’re online. For parents, keeping their children safe in a constantly changing digital world is sometimes easier said than done, but it’s possible! Today, we’re examining how you can keep your kids safe on the internet and sleep a little easier in the process. 

1. Keep an Open Line of Communication

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While keeping an open line of communication is essential to foster any relationship, it’s especially true for parent-child relationships. Always make yourself available to answer any question and offer helpful advice. Kids may hesitate to use their parents as a source of information and guidance, so do your part to ensure your children can trust you; their online safety depends on it!

2. Familiarize Yourself With Parental Controls

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Believe it or not, parents have impressive power over their children’s internet activity. If you haven’t yet gone over your parental control tools, the time is now. With a virtual flip of a switch, you can lock your kids out of certain websites and smartphone apps, potentially sparing them from unsavory material they may encounter. 

3. Know Who They Talk To

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Treat your kids’ friends like you would their real-life friends. Just like you’d want to know who their friends are down the street, take more than a passing interest in who they associate with on the internet. You can assume all you want, but the only way you’ll know that they’re not forging relationships with creepy older adults is by finding out for yourself. Remember, the more involved you are as a parent, the safer your kids will be. 

4. Warn Them of Online Dangers

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Your kid doesn’t know what they don’t know, so it’s up to you as a parent to warn them of online dangers. “Stranger danger” is a concept that should apply to any child walking down the street, so why shouldn’t that also apply to a kid navigating the internet? Sometimes, kids need to be scared to ultimately protect themselves. 

5. Look For Warning Signs

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All parents should trust their intuition regarding suspicious behavior exhibited by their children. Always be on the lookout for warning signs; if your normally well-adjusted kid is acting weird, it’s probably time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

6. Use Strong Passwords

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According to recent studies, the most common password used in 2024 is “123456.” Let that sink in for a moment. By any metric, that’s an irresponsible password, and your kids are at risk of using a laughable password unless you tell them otherwise. If you allow your children to open their own accounts online, you must teach them the importance of a secure password; their online livelihood and security depend on it. 

7. Keep Their Screens in View

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Once you let your kids surf the internet privately, you’ll lose any semblance of power (and privacy) you once had. Set ground rules to ensure their safety: Tell your kids they can’t hide their screens from you. If they know their parents can take a peek at a moment’s notice, they’ll take extra precautions to ensure what they’re looking at isn’t anything nefarious. 

8. Watch What You Post

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Use common sense when using social media. While it’s tempting to post a million photos of your kid’s birthday party, putting those pictures on the internet for everybody to see can do more harm than good. You never know who is watching and keeping tabs on your kids; this is why many celebrities blur their kids’ faces out of photos they post online! 

9. Teach the Importance of Keeping Locations Private

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Unfortunately, one of the most alarming scenarios that have come out of the internet age is our locations being broadcast for the world to see. No parents want strangers to know precisely where their children are surfing the internet, so do your part in keeping them safe by educating them on the importance of keeping their location private. Kids may not fully grasp the issue, but it’s essential to get your point across nonetheless! 

10. Track Their Online Time

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Keeping tabs on your kids’ internet activity is a fantastic way to keep them safe. Monitor the minutes and hours they spend online; any outliers could indicate suspicious behavior. If need be, restrict their time altogether. By setting boundaries, you’re doing your part as a parent in controlling the situation and keeping them as safe as possible. 

11. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Away Their Screens

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I know many new parents and nearly every single one vows not to introduce screens and devices into their kid’s life until they’re older. Unfortunately, most parents give devices to their kids at increasingly younger ages. However, it’s never too late to restrict their screen time; the sooner you do it, the quicker they will learn responsible internet usage and ultimately spare themselves from undesirable online situations. 

12. Be Proactive

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Responsible parents keep themselves informed of the latest internet trends. Doing so can help prevent your children from falling victim to scams and unscrupulous situations. So keep your ears to the ground; if you are privy to information that can help keep your kids safe, use that knowledge and be proactive. Relaying this information to your kids (and other parents) goes a long way. 

13. Lead By Example

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If your kids are throwing caution to the wind regarding staying safe on the internet, it’s time to lead by example. Most kids take on their parents’ habits. For example, suppose you’re attempting to teach them the value of limited screen time. In that case, you are doing them no favors by constantly being on your phone. It’s all about leading by example; don’t be afraid to set the standard in your home. 

14. Stop Exploiting Them at a Young Age

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A quick tour through YouTube yields an unsettling realization. There are countless fame-hungry parents who consider themselves experts on raising kids, and they don’t hesitate to shove a camera in front of their toddlers’ faces to prove it! Exploiting your kids for internet fame is despicable, and it’s the opposite of keeping them safe in an increasingly digital world. If your kids are too young to consent to being in your creepy parenting videos, you’re doing “parenting” all wrong. 

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