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Tips for Keeping Your Child Safe Online
Check your child’s privacy settings
Be aware of your child's privacy settings on mobile apps, computer software and online accounts. The default is often to share every type of information with the widest audience possible; you have to “opt out” if you don’t want to share.
Be aware of your child’s location services
Location services provide GPS information about your current location to and through the apps used on a device. Some location-related apps, like maps, do need location information for some functions. You can quickly turn off location services by doing the following:
- Open the Settings app, then tap Privacy.
- Tap Location Services. Here you can view a list of apps that have access to your location information and a toggle switch to turn off Location Services entirely. If you want to turn off Location Services for all apps, slide the Location Services toggle to the off position.
- Tap an app’s name to adjust its Location Services setting.
Know about metadata
Be aware of metadata in the photos you send, receive and post. Metadata can reveal information about photos even after they have been deleted. For more information on metadata and its impact on your privacy online, visit: teachingprivacy.org
Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi connections
Generally, you can call a network “unsecure” if there is no password or login credentials needed to access it.
Report any cyberbullying
Report inappropriate pictures, threats and other forms of misuse. Ways to report cyberbullying include:
- Directly to the app or website: Most apps and websites have procedures to report abuse. If you are unsure of how to report within an app, you can visit cyberbullying.org/report for step-by-step instructions.
- To a trusted adult
- To the police
Reminders for your child
- Use privacy settings to limit who can see and post on their profile.
- Limit online friends to people they actually know.
- What they post could have a bigger “audience” than they think. Before you click “send” or “post,” think about how you would feel if your family, teachers, coaches or neighbors found it.
- Once you post something online, you can’t take it back, even if you’ve “deleted” it.
- Trust your gut if you feel threatened or uncomfortable because of someone or something you find online. Report it!
- Personal information should stay private.
- Keep your passwords private.
- Be cautious about opening attachments or clicking on links.
- Learn about security software and how your computer and devices are protected. Always update the software on your device.
- Whether it’s your laptop, tablet or phone, don’t leave it unattended in public, even for a minute. Don’t connect to unfamiliar or unprotected Wi-Fi networks.