While most of us are desperate to get outside now that the torrential downpours are over, there are still days that find us bored and indoors. If you are working full time, and have kids/teens at home with little to do, a rainy day could turn into a dangerous afternoon of exploring the internet. Today, there are many things available at our fingertips through the internet. Without setting proper boundaries and strict parental controls, surfing the net can be a deadly outlet. Be sure your homeowners insurance policies are up-to-date. Talk to your children not only about following safety rules at home, but also about internet safety. Here are some tips to use when discussing internet safety with your children.

Internet Safety For Kids

It is important to talk to your kids about safe internet use, just as much as it is when teaching them about safely crossing the street. Parents always want to protect their family with good homeowners insurance; however, remember that there are other ways children need to be protected. The internet can be a great resource for kids and teenagers – and it can also be a scary place with predators lurking around every digital corner. When talking to your children about safety, treat the internet like real life interactions, especially when it comes to the rule of never talking to strangers. You should also communicate with children about expectations for online activity. Give them limits for what is appropriate versus inappropriate behavior online.

Don’t Share Personal Information

Discuss with children the importance of not sharing personal information, such as birth date, phone number, or address. It may seem like a harmless activity to kids, like warming something in the microwave that could turn into a fire – requiring the assistance of the fire department and the coverage provided by homeowners insurance. This same thing applies to the internet, where a predator could be lurking on the other end of the data link. Discourage children from sharing photos or setting up in-person meetings with people they meet online. Social media sites and instant messenger programs can be the ideal place for a stranger with bad intentions to prey on unsuspecting children looking for attention. Explain the dangers of online conversations with strangers to your children and discourage them from such interactions.

Set Boundaries With Parental Controls

With so many ways to set limits for children online, it should be fairly easy to block areas of the web that could be dangerous. This is one more way to safeguard children from internet dangers. Even when following the rules, young people still face dangers that could arise, and parental controls give an added line of defense. Remember, homeowners insurance is designed to protect a family should the unexpected happen. Parental controls are designed to protect children from unexpected predators.

Cyber Bullying

One of the major changes with internet use over the last few years is increased cyber bullying. This has always been a risk; however, with new social media outlets allowing individual anonymity behind a computer screen, cyber bulling is at the forefront of attacks both parents and kids alike can handle. Talk to children about cyber bulling from both sides, ensuring that they are not being bullied or guilty of bullying others.

We know it is tough to keep your kids entertained and busy throughout the summer, especially if you are a full time working parent. So be sure to talk to your kids and set the appropriate boundaries to keep their summer fun safe. Set those boundaries now and give your kids the right tools to navigate the internet safely. This is also a good time to ensure all of your homeowners insurance policies are current. From all of us at Jones & Associates Insurance, we wish you a safe and beautiful summer!

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