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Five Points Bank Blog

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2022InternetSafety

Internet Safety at Home

Tip 1: Keep the Ground Rules

Even if our online habits have changed significantly, you can still set boundaries that work for your family and schedule. Involving children in setting these rules may help them stick to the guidelines. Despite these threats, taking simple steps to safeguard personal information and being aware of warning signs can protect aging men and women from financial abuse.

Consider:

  • Distance learning tasks before social media or gaming
  • No devices during meals
  • At least __ minutes of non-electronic activities per day
  • “Digital curfew”: no devices after a certain hour

Tip 2: Modify How You Monitor

Even the strictest monitoring programs and content blockers can’t ensure that children are totally protected online. The best tools for keeping kids safe are time, attention and active conversation about digital behaviors.

Consider:

Setting up workstations for children and teens that provide quick visual access to the screens for easy check-ins from parents/caretakers as they complete household tasks.

Tip 3: Engage with the Platforms

Take time to get more familiar with the technology platforms your child likes to use. Taking a genuine interest in the games and platforms your child enjoys will help you better understand what your child is doing online.

Consider:

If you’re working from home, take a short break to join your child on a round on the game console, or forward a funny meme or video you saw on one of the social media channels they use. It’s a quick way to show you’re willing and able to be involved in your child’s online life.

Tip 4: Chat IRL

Chat “in real life” with your children. It’s important to have face-to-face discussions about how children and teens are maintaining healthy relationships online, and to give them opportunities to also talk about anything unhealthy or uncomfortable happening to them online.

Consider:

Showing that you’re willing to listen and respond calmly, even if what you hear is uncomfortable or troubling.

Tip 5: Don’t take the Tech

Taking away internet access because a child has made a mistake online rarely solves the problem. Taking access away would likely do far more harm than good. Beyond affecting a child’s ability to complete online tasks, it would all but completely isolate them from friends and other family; a support system that is essential right now. Find ways to give consequences that don’t involve removing online access entirely.

Consider:

If you must, limit access (shorter window for digital socializing, gaming, restricted use to certain public areas of the house, etc.) rather than removing it entirely.

 

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