For a parent, the Internet is as much of a wonder as it is terrifying. For the first time in human history, our kids have access to a limitless, free store of knowledge, but there are also dark corners teeming with predators. When the worst happens, the story blazes across every news site, and we’re suddenly terrified for our own charges. That’s why it’s so important to familiarize ourselves with the best online safety resources for parents. Even though we occasionally hear wretched stories about children being harassed, victimized, and bullied while online, barring the younger generation from the Internet isn’t an option. A child needs to learn how to navigate the online world for purposes relating to education, communication, and eventually, employment.
Much as we educate our kids not to take candy from strangers, we need to consult online safety resources for parents and work to ensure that our children have safe places to work and play while they’re on the web. Face-to-face communication is important, too: Talk to your kids about online safety, answer any questions they have, and assure them that they can always come to you with more questions and concerns. If you’re looking for online safety resources that can help, consider these ten a great starting point:
WiredSafety – WiredSafety is a good online safety resource for both parents and kids. The site keeps up to date with the latest news on online safety legislation, and offers common sense stories and tips across every aspect of online life, including friendships, security, and relationships. There’s also advice for kids about how they should deal with online arguments and bullying.
Get Netwise – Get Netwise is an easy-to-navigate website that boasts a big library of video tutorials. Some tutorials include tips on how to filter search engine results, while others offer in-depth looks at online security programs.
Google’s Family Safety Center – Not surprisingly, Google features a portal to a variety of tools that parents and teachers can use to help kids navigate the Internet safely. You can use the Family Safety Center to control YouTube and Search content, report abuse, and watch video tips from other parents.
NetSmartz – NetSmartz is run by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Its colorful tips and characters should hold special appeal to young visitors. Kids can even access, print, and read free eBooks that use metaphors to describe the hazards of giving away information to online advertisers.
StaySafeOnline – StaySafeOnline by the National Cyber Security Alliance emphasizes the importance of online security, especially when using social networks like Facebook and Google+. The site also provides parents with advice for keeping an eye on kids who love online gaming.
For more online safety resources for parents, check out:
Also be sure to see our own The Modern Parent’s Guide series of high-tech parenting books (a free download) as well.
[Image source: Digital Mom Blog]