Time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has kids spending more time online for remote learning and socialization, especially on the days when outdoor activities aren’t an option.

With screen time increasing, you’ll want to make sure your little ones have a solid understanding of internet safety and why it matters. Keep your kids, tweens and teens from engaging in risky online behaviors with these tips.

  1. Know What They’re Up To — Understand your kids’ Internet habits. Know what sites they visit for school and for fun, and talk to them if you see something unusual.
  1. Set Strong Passwords— Explain how to create strong passwords to protect personal information. Remember, the safest passwords are at least 12 characters with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  1. Install Kid-Safe Versions of Popular Sites — For the little ones, try installing YouTube Kids instead of normal YouTube on their device. You can also create kid-friendly profiles on Netflix and Hulu to automatically filter out mature content.
  1. Set the Ground Rules — Outline the rules for using devices. Consider asking your kids to stay nearby when they’re online and setting rules for what sites they can visit and when — i.e. YouTube allowed after school hours only.
  1. Block Dangerous Websites — Talk to your Internet provider if you want to block certain websites from your network.
  1. Have a Conversation — Set expectations for responsible online behavior. Educate kids on cyber-safety so they understand for themselves the risks of unfamiliar websites, mysterious downloads and conversations with strangers on the web.

Keeping your kids safe online is extremely important while they’re online learning and staying at home. By explaining best practices for internet safety, your youngsters will understand how to conduct themselves responsibly online and give you some peace-of-mind.

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