Teaching Kids About Internet Safety

In this Internet Safety for Kids lesson, learn the Internet safety tips available to keep your kids safe online.

Understanding online dangers

In order to keep your kids safe, you'll need to know about the different types of online dangers that exist. For example, kids and teens may find inappropriate content on the Internet, such as pornography or obscene language. There is also a possibility of cyberbullying or cyberharassment from others online. This does not mean your child will encounter all of these threats. However, knowing about the dangers can help you and your kids make smart decisions online.

Review the interactive below to learn about some of the dangers kids can encounter online.

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Malware

Malware is malicious software that is designed to damage your computer or steal your personal information. It includes viruses, spyware, and other types of software.

Malware is often secretly bundled with other software, and it can also infect email attachments.

Cyber-stalking

Cyber-stalking is any kind of harassment or threatening behavior that occurs online. It can happen through instant messaging, text messaging, email, or social networks. If the perpetrator is a child or teen, it is often called cyberbullying.

Piracy

In the online world, piracy refers to illegally sharing copyrighted materials. This can include music, movies, TV shows, and software. For many kids, sharing files may seem innocent, but it can result in stiff penalties.

Phishing

Phishing is a type of scam where the scammer tries to trick you into revealing your personal information. Usually, it involves an email, instant message, or website that is designed to look like it's from a legitimate company.

Obscenity

The Internet contains a lot of content you probably don't want your kids to see, including pornography, violent content, and vulgar language.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying that occurs online, often through instant messaging, text messaging, email, and social networks.

Cyberbullies may be the same age as the victims, or they may be older. If the perpetrator is an adult, it is generally called cyber-stalking or cyberharassment.

Revealing too much

Many kids and teens like to post photos and share information about themselves. In some cases, this information can be used by online predators.

It's also possible for an embarrassing photo to damage a kid's or teen's reputation. This can affect their social life, and it may even come back to haunt them years later when they're applying for a job.

Other types of dangers

Whenever someone uses a computer, there is a risk of eye strain, wrist strain, and other injuries. You can help prevent this by limiting the amount of time your kids spend on computers and mobile devices. For tips on avoiding injury, read Creating a Safe Workspace in our Computer Basics tutorial.

There's also another reason to limit your kids' Internet use: Because people are spending more and more time online, Internet addiction is becoming a more significant problem. Internet use can be a good thing, but if it becomes an addiction it can affect a person's offline life.