When you got behind the wheel of a car for the first time, you probably underestimated the power of the vehicle in your hands. Most likely, you had someone teach you how to drive and educated you on the good and bad that can come of it, preaching that your chances of having a safe and enjoyable experience are best if you know the rules of the road and learn how to practice a little defensive driving.
It’s really no different when teaching kids how to navigate the Internet.
According to recent findings out of Common Sense Media, online media use is at an all-time high and when we give our children access to the Internet; be it through a smartphone, tablet, PC or any other connected device, we are really giving them access to a powerful vehicle. It’s the job of parents, educators and other influencers to teach safe and responsible Internet use.
Last year I first introduced the Smart User initiative in which AVG vowed to make meaningful strides in educating Internet users from its dangers with the right content at the right time. One year and multiple partnerships later, the Smart User mission is well on its way. While it’s everyone’s job to keep kids and those new to the Internet informed, here are some things you can do as a parent to help your child successfully and safely use the Internet.
- Have your child sit in the passenger’s seat while you drive
If you think your kids are ready for the Internet, next time you’re using it, have them sit and watch how you safely navigate. Make sure to point out signs of danger and things to avoid clicking. Describe what you’re doing, and why.
- Have your child lean over and grab the wheel
Now that they’ve seen firsthand how the Internet works, have your child lean over your shoulder and do a bit of safe clicking.
- Switch seats; it’s time for them to take the driver’s seat
With you at a safe distance but not hovering over them, let your child use their connected device. If they run into trouble they can always rely on you to be nearby.