Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

The internet never forgets: Helping your kid become internet-savvy

Have you ever Googled yourself? How about someone else? Our lives are becoming an online scrapbook of our best and worst moments, professionally and personally, and it's possible for anyone to type our names in a search box and view hundreds of results displaying intimate details of our lives. 

With a “Yelp for People” app looming on the horizon, it’s becoming increasingly important to practice good online etiquette and, more importantly, teach our young ones the do’s and don’ts of having an online presence. A recently published Washington Post article shares tips on how to help your child manage the internet effectively:

Enabling restrictions: Parents should enable restrictions on what can be downloaded, surfed and browsed to on every device your child will be using. This can prevent your child from being able to access adult content, download malicious content, and generally avoid age-inappropriate stuff. Most phones, computers, and internet browsers have these capabilities.

Being a model for your child: Parents should exhibit good online behaviors to influence their children. Don’t expect your child to resist over-sharing on Facebook if you can’t. In the event that they can’t resist, use it as an opportunity to have a discussion about the consequences of sharing too much.

Blocking Youtube: In the article, Adam Pletter recommends blocking Youtube completely. However, I don’t see anything wrong with the heavily-moderated Youtube Kids app, which displays only kid-friendly videos and gives parents the ability to disable search functions and control the videos their child can watch.

What do you do to make sure your child is browsing the web safely?