Keeping Kids Safe Online Starts at a Young Age

My son is in kindergarten, and his favorite part of school is coding class. I was surprised (and a little jealous) that he gets to play coding games and drive robots. Today, though, their lesson was a little different: they learned rules for staying safe online.

Image courtesy Southill Schools

It’s a little tough to get the full picture from a 5-year-old, but from what he explained they were taught the following rules:

  • Always tell a trusted adult or parent if they find anything that seems inappropriate and they are unsure.
  • Always ask a parent or trusted adult for help when looking at new parts of the internet.
  • NEVER meet anyone you only know online in person.

There was also a whole story about a cat who pretended to be a dog, and a video involving the governor (!?!), so I think they showed the class some sort of cartoon to go along with it. Or he’s got a good imagination.

A quick poll of the Gear Diary staff indicated that this is common, and education about online safety is covered at every age in school. It’s not that I never considered online safety, it’s just that I didn’t think to worry about it when I was his age. He’s still little, and at the age where a misplaced paper airplane and an ear infection can cause the same level of distress. But it makes sense that it’s best to educate kids early, and now that I know they’re doing it in school, I’ll reinforce it at home as well.

To any parents out there, what do you do to educate your kids about online safety? Any tips or tricks that work well?

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About the Author

Carly Z
Carly has been a gadget fiend for a long time, going back to her first PDA (a Palm M100). She quickly went from researching what PDA to buy to following tech news closely and keeping up with the latest and greatest stuff. She loves writing about ebooks because they combine her two favorite activities; reading anything and everything, and talking about fun new tech toys. What could be better?