February 11 is Safer Internet Day, a time to bring awareness to the dangers lurking online and review safe internet habits. Theresa Desuyo, digital family and screen time expert at Qustodio, the creators of a parental control app, shared her top internet safety tips for parents.
1. Set boundaries for a healthy digital diet.
Before giving your kids full access to the internet, phone, or video games, discuss how they plan to use these items. Distinguish between productive use versus recreational use. Talk through how often per day they are allowed to be on their device. Setting boundaries to create a healthy digital diet from the get-go eliminates confusion down the road.
2. Have open dialogue.
Kids tend to rebel against rules that are established without explanation. Before limiting their internet and digital device usage, discuss why it is important that rules are put in place. Then talk about benefits and possible dangers they might come across.
3. Empower positivity.
Remind kids to treat others like they would like to be treated when on social media or chatting online—a screen and keyboard doesn’t justify bad behavior. If they ever feel something is not quite right, leave the channel open to communicate with you.