How to have that difficult “stay safe online” conversation with your kids | Cyber Security

It’s crucial to arm with knowledge of how to protect themselves and their information online, not only in the moment, but also for the future – a concept many may not really care about or even grasp.

If you’re looking for the best way to start a with your children about online safety as they start using the internet with greater independence, below are some tips to help them (and you!) keep themselves and their information protected.

1. Does it pass the grandmother test?

It can be easy to get swept up in the moment, and suddenly without realizing you’ve said or done something you regret and that you can’t take back. It’s even worse on the internet, as that thing you’ve said or done lives online forever – yes, even if you think you’ve deleted it.

Think for a moment before you post something, and remember that once it’s online it’s out there for everyone to see. If you wouldn’t be comfortable with your grandmother, a teacher, or future employer reading that post, perhaps it shouldn’t go online in the first place.

2. Who are you talking to?

You can’t always be sure of who you’re talking to online, and you definitely can’t be sure of who’s watching or reading.

If an unexpected message pops up from someone you know, be careful. It might be someone pretending to be that person.

3. Protect your information

Whether you’re talking to someone or using an app or a service, it’s crucial to protect your personal information (your full name, your birthdate, or where you go to school), and your location (like where you live, or where you frequently hang out with your friends).

If someone or something is asking for your details, ask yourself why. Who are they, and why do they want this information? What do they want to do with it? Follow your gut instinct: If something feels off about the website or app that’s asking, trust that gut instinct and stop what you’re doing.