Want to save $50 a month on internet service? Find out if you qualify for the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Keeping Kids Safer In a Digital World

Savvy Cyber Kids By Savvy Cyber Kids March 7, 2018

Today’s children are considered ‘Digital Natives’ because they were born into a world defined by technology, but are actually “Digital Naives.” Without intervention, children lack an understanding of the implications of their digital actions. We tell kids that they should never meet-up with a person they met online and that someone you don’t know in real life is always a stranger (because you can’t confirm who they really are). But, let’s face it, the internet is about making connections.

From dating sites to Craigslist and social media groups, adults make online connections that turn into real-world connections regularly. At some point, children will have reasons to make these kinds of connections too. Even if that time is when they go off to college, the adults in children’s lives need to model behavior that ensures safety in the digital world.

While you can never guarantee anything you do will keep you 100 percent safe, there are precautions to consider if you really want to meet up with someone you met online. Here are tips for staying safe when meeting and talking to unknown people online.

  • Ask them to use Facetime or Google Hangouts or a social media app or live chat app.
  • If they refuse or can’t for some reason, ask them to send you a selfie with something that shows the day’s date and time.
  • If they also refuse to do this or can’t send a selfie, do not meet up with them!
  • Ask yourself, why would they be refusing to prove who they really are?

 

  • If you arrange to meet-up with someone, never go alone.
  • Arrange to meet up in a public place with lots of other people around.
  • Tell the person that “I’m bringing along my friend too. If you’re being safe like me, and you have someone coming too, they could sit together.”

If you are under the age of 18, these are not suggestions. You must bring a trusted adult with you if they approve of the meet up. If any of your plans are not accepted by your new online friend, stop communicating with them. And then take time to block them on your accounts and hide your information from them.

When meeting and talking to unknown people online, your safety and comfort should be important to them. It will be important to any good person you meet online who wants to meet up IRL. The reality is that it’s a dangerous world out there — for them as well. Even following these tips cannot guarantee your safety.

Talk to the trusted adults in your life, use good judgment, and stay safe out there.

 

 

Savvy Cyber Kids educates and empowers digital citizens, from parents and grandparents to teachers and students. Sign up for their free resources to help you navigate today’s digital world with cyber ethics.

Savvy Cyber Kids

Savvy Cyber Kids

See all posts from Savvy Cyber Kids.

Filed Under: Internet

Reliable, high-speed internet is an essential part of our lives. Find out how it all works — from speed tests to fast fiber internet to the latest innovations (from an ISP that’s been here from the beginning).