In so many ways the internet has made the world a better place, heck it’s pretty much how I have made a living for the last 15 years. But for as much good as it has done it has also changed life as we know it. The kids of today are growing up with the access to so much information and connection right at their fingertips. With 5 kids in my house I am always worried about my kids online and often times don’t know if I am keeping up with technology and social media. Luckily, there are some great resources out there to teach us how to adjust to a world with the internet plus some great ways for families to talk about it together. This year, February 5th is Safer Internet Day. Be Internet Awesome and Family Link are helping families be safe online by creating healthy digital habits with tech using programs and apps.
*This post is a sponsored post in partnership with Google, but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Safer Internet Day! Easy Tips & Tools to help kids be Safer on the Internet
Smart, Alert, Strong, Kind and Brave – The Code to Internet Safety
These are qualities we want to teach and instill into our kids in day to day life, obviously. What parents sometimes forget is that we also need to teach them how important it is to have these qualities while online. Make sure to check out The Internet Code of Awesome which explains what it means to be smart, alert, strong, kind and brave in an online environment. There are great games for your kids to play to learn how to create strong passwords, how to not fall for online scams and more. Plus, different online scenarios to go over with your child to help them navigate the internet safely. Trust me, you’ll even learn a few things yourself.
Here are the 5 Main Points of the Internet Code of Awesome program:
- Smart – Teaches kids what to share and don’t share with others online. This includes simple tips like, think before you post and protect your secrets and passwords
- Alert – This section helps kids learn to be aware to avoid falling for scams. This includes simple tips like looking for secure websites
- Strong – Being strong is about using proper security and privacy protection online and being kind is about using the internet for spreading good into the world while treating others with respect. So much of internet safety has to do with treating situations just like you would in real life. When you start to go over these steps that becomes abundantly clear. We secure our homes, lock our car doors, don’t share personal information with untrusted sources. We should be applying the same amount of diligent care to our online presence.
- Kind – In this section, you go over how being kind, really affects your experience on the internet and how it translates to real life. You will go over making the right decisions online and simply following the golden rule.
- Brave- I really liked this section as it went over what kids should do when they encounter people making the wrong choices. It goes over the proper ways to block content and what do to when confronted with negativity online.
How to Make a Lasting Impression Of Internet Safety
Getting familiar with the Code of Awesome is one thing, but really making digital safety a priority may Here are some ways to start the conversation in a meaningful and lasting way.
- Make a commitment as a family to practice internet safety and be responsible digital citizens. You can kick off this commitment by printing a few of these out and signing them together as a family or in the case that this is a classroom everyone in class can sign the commitment. Be sure to post them somewhere you can easily see them when on the computer.
- Test your skills out at Interland. This is an amazing resource to make internet safety a bit more of a fun topic for younger kids. There are four different engaging games that challenge you to learn the rules of internet safety.
- Bring this to the people who have an influence in your child’s life. You will probably be surprised to find that people like their teachers, coaches, and friends parents appreciate these tools being shared with them. Whether it be the pledge, Interland, or simply a link to all the awesome resources they can surely find a way to tie these resources into both their own lives and those around them.
My Overall Experience
Overall, my experience with this program and my kids was pretty great and eye-opening. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the things my kids already knew. Plus, there were many things they did not know as well. It was also very eye-opening when I heard about some of the stuff they have already seen and heard online. This program not only helped my kids learn about internet safety but it helped me understand a bit more the world they are in. I highly recommend families take part in these activities.
Have you done the Code of Awesome Program with your kids? Let us know your experience in the comments.
You can learn more about Google’s awesome Digital Safety Resources by clicking here.
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