I cannot express enough the importance of being safe online. I’ve grown up in a generation that has been basically raised on electronics. I know how undeniably important it is to be as safe as humanly possible online.
Personal experience has shown me just how dangerous the online world can be. I’ve seen that there are people online who are just as bad as people in the real world. On the news you see stories about kidnappings and murders but it shocks me how little stories there are on online mishaps.
To keep safe online, I’ll leave you with three top tips for you or your daughters:
- If you don’t know them personally, you just don’t know them. If someone random starts talking to you don’t talk back. The worst thing you can do online is give your trust to people you don’t even know.
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. I know this is old advice but it’s definitely important. It doesn’t just apply to spam emails or messages, it also applies to people. If a person seems too perfect, providing you don’t know them of course, they probably aren’t who you think they are.
- Don’t give out your personal details to anyone. That doesn’t just mean bank details or phone number. That also means simple things such as school or sporting clubs. People online are very smart so even a little bit of information can go along way. Ashlea xxx
Online safety is something most parents worry about. As Ashlea states, her generation have always experienced the internet but my generation did not grow up with online interaction. When I was a child you either called your girlfriend on the telephone (cordless if you were lucky) or you had to wait until the next day to chat with them.
I worry about online safety as technology is constantly changing and kids are quick to catch onto the next ‘new’ thing way before most adults have even heard about the new ‘app’ even existing. I love Ashlea’s tips and support them thoroughly. I will add a couple more tips from a mums point of view.
- Once it is out there, it is never coming back. A simple, thoughtless decision like sending a naked selfie to a boyfriend or posting a nasty comment about an ex-friend, will stay in the cyber world forever. Always understand that our lives are changing constantly and so do our thoughts. So what may seem OK today, can feel very wrong the following day.
- Become familiar with the sites your children visit. I understand it can be a little overwhelming with all the new apps and websites children seem to know, so by limiting which sites they frequent can help you gain a greater understanding of how the site works.
- Parenting needs to flow to online. We teach our children to not talk to strangers, to use our manners and many other qualities we believe are important to become a grounded, well-adjusted adult. This parenting advice needs to flow into the cyber world. We need to teach them the rules which are important for online interaction and follow up on these rules as we would do if rules were broken within the home environment.