Now that the new school year is here, kids may be spending more time online to complete homework, group projects and other school assignments. This means they’re more vulnerable to online threats, such as cyberbullying, unsafe posting and internet predators.
In addition to following your natural parental instincts, here are actions you can take to help keep your kids safe this school year:
- Set up your child’s workstation in a common area where the screen is visible so you can supervise their online activity.
- Become familiar with the online learning platform your school uses. Ask about the security features and enable those that are available.
- Check in with your kids daily about their online activity. Ask them who they talk to online and which sites their teachers ask them to visit. Pay special attention to instant messaging apps, like Skype, Messenger Kids and Google Hangouts.
- If your child is using new equipment, or a device issued from school, remember to uninstall apps that might be distracting and block access to sites where predators could lurk.
- Make sure the latest security software is installed.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is keep the lines of communication with your kids AND their teachers open. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you suspect you know the answer.
Be sure to visit our online Cybersecurity Center for more helpful resources. Have a safe and happy school year!
Updated August 2023
Written by: Sarah Nicholas
Sarah is the Director of Communications for Serendipity Communications. She lives in Plainwell, Michigan with her husband, daughters and stepson, with twin stepdaughters nearby. She is passionate about cyber safety education and animal rights and enjoys ballet dancing, reading and volunteering at her children’s school.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.