Back to School: Help Kids Socialize Safely Online

By Evelyn Castillo-Bach

It's back to school time and that means even busier schedules for the entire family. It also means that many children will be left unsupervised in front of computers and mobile devices that can also access the internet.

Here are some tips I found on a government website, OnGuard Online. It offers a full range of great resources for parents who may not feel so tech savy. It is written in very clear non-geek English. Here are 12 quick tips summarized. But do go visit the site yourself to learn more.

Source:OnGuard Online

1. Help your kids understand what information should be private.

2. Use privacy settings to restrict who can access and post on your child's website.

3. Explain that kids should post only information that you — and they — are comfortable with others seeing.

4. Remind your kids that once they post information online, they can't take it back.

5. Know how your kids are getting online.

6. Talk to your kids about bullying.

7. Talk to your kids about avoiding sex talk online.

8. Tell your kids to trust their gut if they have suspicions.

9. Take extra steps to protect younger kids.

10. Go where your kids go online.

11. Review your child's friends list.

12. Understand sites' privacy policies.


Evelyn Castillo-Bach is the founder of
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