Cyber safety: five tips for parents

Cyber safety: five tips for parents

LANSING — While the internet may be a great resource for learning and offer fun interactive games for kids, it can also pose a lot of safety concerns.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office offers these five tips for parents to keep their children safe online: talk with your children about online safety, guard personal information, know the basics about the apps and sites that are popular, learn cyber–bullying warning signs, and take action if you suspect cyber–bullying.

The information comes from Schuette’s Consumer Protection programs OK2SAY and the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative.

Here is the detailed list of tips:

Five Cyber Safety Tips

  1. Talk with Your Children about Online Safety. The Attorney General’s Social Networking Discussion Questions and Action Plan can help facilitate conversation and establish online safety guidelines. Examples include having ground rules for internet usage, have time limits on device usage and reminding kids that once something is posted online it is permanent.
  2. Guard Personal Information. Remind children to never give out identifying information to people they don’t know including their name, phone number, address, or school name. It is also a good idea to go over social media profiles to make sure they do not contain personal information.
  3. Know the Basics about the Apps and Sites that are Popular. The more you know about each, the better you will be able to communicate with your children about safe choices.
  4. Learn Cyberbullying Warning Signs. Cyberbullying affects at least one in every five middle and high school students and often times those who experience it don’t tell anyone. The OK2SAY program is another great tool to help fight cyberbullying.
  5. Take Action if You Suspect Cyberbullying. Foremost, make sure your child is (and feels) safe. You also need to talk with and listen to your child; collect evidence; work with the school; and, if necessary, be prepared to seek counseling for your child. There is much you can to do help your child deal with and end the situation.