Being online is a way of life for children these days. Devices and their capabilities are constantly changing, making it hard to keep up with what your children can do online and what they are exposed to. On this page, we've tried to put together some resources that will help you in knowing when to start talking to your child about online safety and what to talk about. We hope you'll find these resources useful.
Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. They empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.
Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. They offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music. Their Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.
NetSmartz.org created the NetSmartz Workshop, which is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement. With resources such as videos, games, activity cards and presentations, NetSmartz entertains while it educates. Below is an image showing topics for parents followed by links to information pages and tip sheets for some of the issues:
Net Cetera is a free guide to help parents do the best thing they can to protect their kids online--talk to them. The guide covers topics like social media, mobile devices, cyberbullying, and computer security. If the guide is unavailable to order, click here to download a pdf version.
The goal of this site is to provide resources to help parents in talking with their children about being safe and responsible online. Look for the section called "About Protecting Kids Online" for links to several topics related to online safety. Below are some direct links to a few topics:
To help you teach your children to safely and ethically use their digital devices, iKeepSafe has created several programs to help educate parents and to help parents guide their children in their digital lives.
Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, family coach and trusted online adviser for teens. Her list of Cybersafety sites will fill any gaps you might have about online safety. Use the link to help you educate your kids about the Do's and Don'ts of being online. Don't assume they know proper "netiquette."
The site provides information and resources on a variety of topics relating to online safety, social media and other aspects of life online.
The site provides weekly parent webinars that are free. You'll also find videos about how to talk to your teen about social media and a video about how to talk to your child about managing screen time wisely. Another resource of interest on this site is the book Light, Bright and Polite: Use Social Media to Impress Colleges and Employers by Josh Ochs, a nationally recognized speaker on digital citizenship and cyberbullying. The book covers topics such as how social media can help or hurt your child's future, when to talk to your child about social media, when to get involved, and more.