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It’s Here: The Best Resource to Help Your Child Create Healthy Digital Habits

Help Your Child Create Healthy Digital Habits

This is a sponsored post on behalf of the company mentioned below. All opinions are my own.

 

I’ve been a mom for 25 years, so I experienced the boom of social media and the internet online. I remember how much I worried about my kids’ safety while online. The evolution of online safety has been remarkable through the years.

 

The options available to ensure kids’ safety while online have come a long way. However, there’s still quite a way to go.

 

Now as I have raised two children and still have two more to go, I have become very passionate about parents being knowledgeable about the many things that can be done to ensure kids safety online since technology is now a necessity rather than a luxury.

 

That is why I love Safer Internet Day. It’s primary goal is to encourage families to talk about the importance of establishing and maintaining healthy digital habits in hopes of creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users. One way that families can be safe online together is by creating healthy digital habits with tech using the plethora of online safety tips, programs, and apps that make up Google’s ‘Be Internet Awesome’ initiative.

 

help your child create healthy digital habits

 

The campaign’s slogan is, Together for a better internet. It is a call to action for families to have open and honest conversation about staying safe online, and incorporating and practicing digital safety every day, all the time.

 

The family guides, interactive online games, other digital safety resources included as part of Google’s ‘Be Internet Awesome’ initiative emphasize five fundamental areas of internet awesomeness: Smart/Share with Care, Alert/Don’t Fall for Fake, Strong/Secure Your Secrets, Kind/Itʼs Cool to Be Kind, and Brave/When in Doubt, Talk It Out. It all serves as a great way to learn best digital practices information for Safer Internet Day and beyond.

 

SMART

5 tips to help you Be Internet Smart

  1. Be a positive presence online just like IRL (in real life).  Remember, once something by or about you is online like a photo, comment, or message, it could stay online forever.
  2. Think before you post. It’s important to know when to post nothing at all – not to react to somebody’s post, photo, or comment or not to share something that isn’t true.
  3. Protect your secrets. Do not share your address, email, phone number, passwords, usernames or school documents with strangers.
  4. Donʼt assume that people online will see you the way you think theyʼll see you. Different people can see the same information and draw different conclusions from it.
  5. It’s always important to respect other people’s privacy choices, even if they aren’t the choices you’d make yourself. Different situations call for different responses online and offline.

 

ALERT

5 tips to help you Be Internet Alert

  1. Double check a site for credibility. Before you click on a link or enter your password on a site you haven’t been to before, check that the siteʼs URL matches the product’s or company’s name and information youʼre looking for.
  2. Use secure websites. Make sure a website’s URL starts with https://with a little green padlock to the left of it.
    1. EXAMPLE:
  1. Don’t fall for scams. If the  email or site offers something that sounds too good to be true, like a chance to make a lot of money, it’s almost always too good to be true. Don’t fall for the fake message.
    1. Show an image of a pop up on a site that says “It’s your lucky day! You’ve been selected as the winner of a million dollars! [BOX: Click here]
  2. It can happen to anyone. If you fall for a scam online, tell your parent, teacher, or other trusted adult right away and change your passwords to your accounts immediately.
  3. Attention! Remember that website or ad canʼt tell if thereʼs anything wrong with your device! There are scams that may try to trick you into downloading malware or unwanted software by telling you that thereʼs something wrong with your device.

 

STRONG

5 tips to help you Be Internet Strong

  1. Create a strong password. Choose at least 8 characters and use combinations of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and symbols.
  2. Switch it up. Use a different password for each of your important accounts.
  3. Get creative. Donʼt use a password thatʼs easy to guess, like your nickname, just the name of your school, favorite basketball team, a string of numbers (like 123456), etc. And definitely don’t use the word “password”!
  4. Avoid getting personal. Donʼt use personal information (name, address, email, phone number, Social Security number, motherʼs maiden name, birth dates, etc.), or common words in your password.
  5. Don’t hesitate to change your password. Immediately change your password if you know or believe it may be known by someone other than a trusted adult.

 

KIND

5 Tips to help you Be Internet Kind

  1. Follow the golden rule! Treat others how you’d like to be treated, both online and IRL (in real life).
  2. Be an Upstander! An Upstander fights bad behavior and stands up for kindness and positivity.
  • Example: Report the harassment. Tell someone who can help, like a parent, teacher, or school counselor.
  1. Do simple actions to turn negative interactions into positive ones.
  • Example: If someone posts something negative online to a friend, get a bunch of friends to create a “pile-on of kindness” – post lots of kind comments about the person being bullied (but nothing mean about the aggressor, because you’re setting an example, not retaliating)
  1. Make good decisions when choosing what to say and how to deliver it.
  • Example: Don’t type something online if you wouldn’t say it in real life.
  1. Spread kindness online.

 

BRAVE

5 tips to help you Be Internet Brave

  1. Found something negative? Say something! If you come across something that makes you feel uncomfortable or worse, report it – be brave and talk to someone you trust who can help, including a teacher, the principal, or a parent.
  2. Talk it out. Asking for help when you’re not sure what to do is a brave thing to do. If it’s to help you or someone heal something hurtful or stop harm from happening, it’s both smart and courageous.
  3. Report and/or block inappropriate content. Reporting can help the people involved, their community, and the platforms themselves if we use the tools to block and/or report on a site or app.
  4. Get proof. Before blocking or reporting inappropriate content, it’s always wise to take a screenshot so that you have a record of the situation.
  5. Don’t be afraid! If you receive a creepy message or comment from a stranger, show a trusted adult, block and report them.

 

help your child create healthy digital habits

 

Even after all these years, I am still experiencing firsthand how challenging staying ahead of the curve can be when it comes to the internet – especially when it comes to my kids. I am glad that informative resources like Google’s Be Internet Awesome Family Guide are now available to take the stress and intimidation out of family digital safety. Use this great program in your home to help your child create healthy digital habits that will stay with them well into adulthood.

 

Come Together for a Better Internet with your family by using Be Internet Awesome starting with the program’s NEW Family Guide and then encourage your kids to put their skills to the test with Interland at g.co/Interland . Then, have a conversation with your kids about how to be safe and smart online on SID and everyday by using the information you learned from Be Internet Awesome.

Additionally, encourage your child’s school to come together for a better internet too by sharing Be Internet Awesome with their teachers.

 

Connect with Google for Education on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

 

 

Help Your Child Create Healthy Digital Habits

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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