How to Keep Your Kids Safe from Online Dangers

These days children are going online younger than ever, with even some baby and toddler strollers having a special pocket to place a tablet in for 'entertainment'.

Then there are the endless images, videos and anecdotes that doting parents post online.

But with current issues, is it time we start rethinking our kids' exposure to the online world?

There's no denying that the internet is an amazing resource for creativity, learning, playing games, socialising and even careers.

Lots of kids love to chat with their friends, play games, and learn online.

We don't want to take that away from them, but it's time to start considering our kids' digital footprint in terms of crime and criminals who prey on children.

Just how can you protect your children from these online dangers and potential predators?

Guidelines for Parents

As parents we want to protect our kids, but can we be sure that our innocent sharing of a cute pic or video online is safe?

Follow these guidelines to ensure your kids safety when you share online:

1. Do a safety check

Restrict who sees your content by staying private on social media.

On sites like Facebook where you can restrict who sees your posts, make sure you have kept your account to close friends and family only.

The standard settings allow people you don't know to 'follow' you and see your public shares or posts you are tagged in.

Do you really 'know' 800 people? And can you be sure they are all legit and safe for your kids to be around? Maybe it's time for a cull.

2. Think about what you share

As adorable as your toddler looks running through a fountain naked or being Nemo in the bath, do you want outsiders to see those pictures?

Think carefully about what your child is wearing, what they're doing and whether it's something you want a potential predator to see.

It's hard to think about our kids this way, but unfortunately those dangers are out there and innocent photos can easily be misconstrued or even exploited.

3. Don't give information away

Think carefully before showing pictures of your holiday packing or sharing how excited you are about your trip.

Don't share plans of where you are going at certain times or on particular days, and make sure your social media photos don't show where you live or details about your life.

Be aware of other people with phones and cameras when you are out and about, who's taking photos of whom?

Guidelines for Kids

If your kids are online, follow these guidelines to keep them safe when they’re on the internet:

1. Be careful about who you are talking to

Talking to your friends and family online is a great way to keep in touch.

Remember though, that there is always a possibility that you’re talking to a stranger.

People may not be who they say they are so avoid chat getting too personal.

If you feel as though someone is crossing a line on chat, or asking personal questions, leave the discussion immediately and speak to a responsible adult as soon as you can.

2. Never, ever arrange to meet someone you only know online

Make this your golden rule.

3. Protect your identity

Avoid giving out your personal information, such as where you live, what school you go to, or who your parents are, online.

Change your privacy settings on social media so that only your friends and family can view your posts.

4. Remember: it’s not real life

Avoid comparing yourself to what you see online.

Everyone presents their best selves on social media and this can easily leave you feeling down about your own life.

But you may well be comparing yourself to a fairy tale!

The images they have chosen may make someone else's life look perfect, but they do not tell the whole story.

5. Remember your digital footprint

Whatever you post online, whether it’s text, a photo or a funny video, will be online forever.

ONLY post things that you would be happy for everyone to see, even your granny!

The internet can be a dangerous place, filled with people looking to exploit others.

But if you and your children follow these tips, you can have fun while staying safe too.

More tips:

This post contains product and service links for your convenience. By clicking on these links I may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. I only suggest resources and items I believe in and highly recommend. Find out more on our Disclosure page.