In 2013, nearly 57 percent of children, ages three to 17, used the internet at home, according to Child Trends. With an increasing number of children accessing the online world, it’s important to include them in conversations about safe Internet usage and data privacy.
This is a particularly good time to have a talk with your kids because Sunday happens to be Data Privacy Day. In 2009, the Senate recognized Data Privacy Day as an official holiday that occurs annually on January 28. Designed as an educational initiative, this holiday focuses on raising awareness about the importance of protecting personal information online and promoting best practices for privacy and data protection.
Based on the National Cyber Security Alliance’s tips, here are some ideas for starting a conversation about internet safety with your kids:
- The value of personal information—Personal information is a lot like money. It’s incredibly valuable so it needs to be well taken care of and protected. Talk to your kids about how to be mindful about the information they provide to apps and websites, and emphasize the importance of using privacy and security settings. Help them understand that they should never share information such as their real name, address, phone number, or the name of their school to anyone they meet online.
- Be mindful of what you post online— Explain to your kids that once they post information online, it’s nearly impossible to take back. Encourage them to consider how the content they post online may affect them in the future.
- Your actions online are influential—Remind your kids that the things they say and do online can impact others in positive and negative ways. You shouldn’t do something to someone else that you wouldn’t want done to you.
- Not everything on the internet is safe—Help your children learn how to identify what safe, trustworthy websites and apps look like. Encourage them to be careful about the content they click on or download.
With new technology constantly emerging, it can be challenging to stay current on issues relating to internet security and data privacy. For the latest information about ways for you and your children to stay safe online, visit www.staysafeonline.org.
Guest Blogger: August Braun
August is PR Intern at TDS Telecom and a Journalism student at UW-Madison.