Parent Guide to Digital Hygiene
Updated: Jul 7
The internet is now a global forum for connections and communication, and like every innovation, it requires education for mastery. Parents, as well as schools, have a responsibility to teach students the concepts of Digital Citizenship. Common Sense Media Curriculum defines Digital Citizenship as “empowering your students with skills to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly online, allowing them to connect and collaborate in meaningful ways.”
"The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow." Bill Gates
Parents may also find it useful to learn about the risks and challenges of managing and monitoring their children’s online experience. Phenomena such as cyber bullying, online predatory behavior, exposure to inappropriate materials, and revealing too much personal information require vigilance, and especially with younger children, the involvement of their parents.
Ten Internet Safety Tips for Parents
The following basic internet safety tips for parents to help their children stay safe online are from www.kathleenamorris.com. See her website for a free downloadable PDF internet safety poster containing this information.
Don't block all access to technology. Help your child use tech safely and positively.
Take an interest in your child's favourite apps or sites. Co-view or co-create at times.
Be the parent. You're in charge. Set boundaries and consider using filtering software.
Create a family media agreement with tech free zones such as cars, bedrooms, and meals.
Teach your child what personal information they should not reveal online (YAPPY acronym: Your full name, Address, Phone number, Passwords, Your plans and birthday).
Help your child filter information online and navigate fact from fiction.
Navigate digital dilemmas with your child. Avoid using devices as rewards or punishments.
Balance green time and screen time at home. Focus on basic developmental needs.
Don't support your child to sign up for sites with age restrictions (e.g. 13+) if they're underage.
Learn more: Explore reliable resources for parents so you can educate yourself.