Internet Safety Tools for Parents
What can parents of 5- to 7-year-old children do to help keep them safe?
- Provide a high level of supervision during offline and online activities.
- Explain to your child what the Internet is and what it can be used for. Discuss with your child that the Internet is a public place, much like the store, the neighbourhood, the playground or going to someone else’s house. Set the expectation that you will always monitor her/him online to increase her/his safety.
- Use parental controls on your computer.
- Limit the amount of time your child spends online.
- Ensure your child always gets your permission before sharing personal information or accepting anything while online or offline. Teach your child what is meant by personal information and where on the Internet they may be asked for it.
- Be careful not to overreact to mistakes, as children will interpret the reaction literally, feeling shame and worry.
- Model appropriate boundaries for your child and re-establish boundaries when they are broken.
- Discuss with your child Okay and Not Okay touching.
- Teach your child the difference between KEEP and SPEAK Secrets (i.e. a KEEP Secret is harmless and will eventually come out, like a surprise party; a SPEAK Secret is one that children are told to never tell and makes them feel uncomfortable, like someone showing them sexually explicit pictures). Emphasize the point with your child that s/he needs to tell a safe adult about SPEAK Secrets.
- Help your child build positive relationships with safe adults at home and at school (e.g. a parent, an aunt, a grandparent, a teacher, etc.).