Most kids don’t really surf on the internet before they start school. Entering the school yard also means going online: Many pupils have smartphones, and computers and tablets are often available during classes.
Before school starts, you naturally teach your kid traffic rules and get familiar with the route to school together. In the same way, it’s a good idea to talk about some basic rules regarding internet behaviour.
Internet and mobile devices are a part of kids’ every day life. It might seem like your child is more familiar with these things than you, but that’s only partly true. Children sure can use the technology, but they don’t have the wisdom and life experience of a grown-up.
What online rules should the kids know before the school start? Here’s what we would teach:
There’s a lot of information and fun stuff online. However, there are certain rules that need to be followed. Just as in traffic. For instance the social media age limits should be respected. Why? All social media services are not meant for kids.
It’s not safe to reveal personal information such as name, phone number and address to anyone without talking to parents first. Why? Some people have bad intentions.
Be careful with posting pictures of yourself. Why? When you put something online, it’s usually going to be there forever. Also, someone might start spreading them.
Don’t share pictures of other people or others’ personal information. Why? Everyone decides themselves what they share.
The normal etiquette applies online too: Be nice, avoid bad language, speak friendly to others and don’t be a bully. Why? Written words hurt the same way as spoken ones.
Never tell password to anyone. Why? Someone might steal your account.
People you’re in contact with are not always who they say they are.
There’s a chance to encounter scary or otherwise uncomfortable stuff online. Tell to parents about it so that they can help handling it.