Today I am working with our sponsor, Google, as a part of Forward Influence to talk about teaching our children to be Safe Online.
Last week, my husband and I took the kids to see the movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” Of course, they loved it! If you haven’t seen the movie, there is a “Ralph Virus” that attacks the internet because Wreck-it Ralph didn’t follow the rules.
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On the way home, our youngest son asked me if internet virus’ were real. His question started the whole conversation about how different things online can be unsafe if we don’t know the rules or boundaries.
Our older boys are at the age where they are starting to use the computer more for research, homework, and classwork. This means that they are online a lot more during the day (while at school) than they were a few years ago.
Keeping them safe is my top priority, and internet safety plays a big part in that. It will continue to play a role for many years to come.
Google is helping to create a safer space for our children online with their program Be Internet Awesome. It teaches children how to be smart, alert, strong, kind, and brave online. This program is helping the family come “Together for a better internet.”
While they have lessons and ideas for parents (in a PDF pack that you can download), it is filled with so much more! Be Internet Awesome is a program designed to teach kids how to stay safe online, avoid predators, learn what they can and cannot share online and more.
This is especially important for younger users. For this reason, Google created a fun, interactive game called “Interland” that gives the children four lands to practice staying safe. They practice combatting bullies, hackers, phishers and more.
To give you an example: Be Internet Awesome teaches kids to “Think before you post: It’s important to know when to post nothing at all – not to react to somebody’s post, photo, or comment or not to share something that isn’t true.”
This tip is so true! I tell our children all the time that you never know who will see it.
What can you do today?
→Check out Be Internet Awesome and the program’s NEW Family Guide, which gives you ideas for discussions your kids are going to learn a lot about being safe online.
→Encourage your kids to put their skills to the test with Interland at g.co/Interland.
→Encourage your child’s teacher to put Be Internet Awesome to use in the classroom: They even have Interland for Google Classroom, for Chromebooks, and so much more. The educator’s curriculum is jam-packed with everything a school would need!
→Check out Family Link, as well. It is an app that lets you stay on top of their online activity. Whether your children are younger or in their teens, this app lets you set digital ground rules to guide them while they are online. You can see where they are, how long (and when) they were on their electronic devices, and you can even approve or deny their downloads:
Talk to your child about being safe online every day.
As they say in the Be Internet Awesome Family Guide: “Most importantly, have fun exploring what works for your family, as you all grow the skills of being Smart, Alert, Strong, Kind, and Brave on and off the Internet.”