The Internet Safety Tip I Didn’t Think to Explain

I thought we’d covered the major internet safety tips for kids.

Don’t share personal info online: usernames/gamer tags shouldn’t include your first and last name, don’t share your school, teacher, address, city, phone number, etc. Don’t talk to anyone you don’t know.

If something on the screen isn’t something that mom and dad would be okay seeing, then you shouldn’t be seeing it, either.

Be kind. Know that what you share could go out to anyone, not just who you think you’re sharing it with.

My kids don’t just hear this from us, they hear it at school, too. They teach internet safety rules and go over and over them. My oldest, who is in third grade, uses laptops/iPads every day in class and his teacher has done a great job reinforcing these safety rules.

I’ve shown my oldest how I edit pics to share online. How I cropped out our house number from this one, blurred out the name of his school from that one, didn’t post that one because I couldn’t edit out our license plate number.

When he found out about foursquare, I explained why I don’t check in at his school or our house.

I thought I had it all under control, especially since he’s too young for social networks, so I wasn’t having to worry about those yet. But dang, I was on top of this.

internet safety


Yeah, notsomuch.

One night, Hubs and I were watching a movie in the family room when our oldest walked down the stairs, looking at his iPad. He said “Iron Man is coming on, can we watch that?”

Hubs and I looked at each other, confused.

Oldest went on to tell us that “(GamertagICantRemember) said that it’s about to come on so he has to go, can we watch it, too?”

And this is when we discovered that even though I’d told him and Hubs had told him and he’d heard it a bunch of times at school, our son thought that “don’t talk to anyone you don’t know online” meant actually talking. He didn’t realize that a typed chat fits in that category because it’s not TALKING.

We had to have another discussion about this very important rule and become a little more aware of what games have a chat option(this one was Minecraft, Hunger Games mode).

I’m sharing this because I had thought saying not to talk to anyone they don’t know was self-explanatory, but it wasn’t(especially when you consider how literal kids can be) and now I know to be clearer on this with mine- and maybe your kids might need this cleared up, too.

What internet safety rules have you set with your kids?

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  1. We really stress internet safety, too. These are great tips for kids.
    Virginia @thatbaldchick recently posted..5 Summer Beauty Products That Won’t Bust Your BudgetMy Profile

  2. Kids are so trusting and they need to know the dangers of being on the internet.   There are lots of crazies out there.
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  3. One of my kids Pokemon game has a chat option and I ended up disabling it because he is way too young for that.
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  4. We go over the same things with our oldest. There is SO MUCH that parents need to be aware of when our kids have access to technology, isn’t there? 
    Kim@Co-Pilot Mom recently posted..Just Like ThatMy Profile

  5. We teach our teach our kids about this daily. We do not allow them online without us in the room and where they sit we can see all they do.
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  6. The fact that they are so literal and don’t get something like “talking” makes the internet an even scarier place. We haven’t branched out into anything beyond what they can access from the elementary library, we need to start having these talks.
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  7. there are so many rules and loopholes it’s hard to cover everything. This is why i hate this technology age
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  8. such a great tip! We have been going over internet safety rules with out daughter for a long time and she doesn’t even use the tools yet.
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  9. Ugh, I think I would have forgotten this too. So scary what is out there. 
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  10. Whoa! So glad you wrote about this. We have strict parental controls on our computer for our boys. They are only allowed on some sites that have been approved by us. Meaning we “allowed” it with our password. They aren’t allowed to YouTube videos or Google images without our presence. Even some videos has to be screened by us before watching. My oldest (who we had the sex talk with a few weeks ago) is aware of inappropriate images. HOWEVER, we’ve never had the ‘no chatting online with anyone’ safety talk. THANK YOU for bringing awareness to this. 
    Dianne recently posted..Abby’s Survival Blog TourMy Profile

    • Mine have found terrible youtube videos. They’ll watch things that are appropriate and then the “related videos” are definitely not, but they won’t realize at first b/c it’s a subject they watch, but all of a sudden, there’s inappropriate language. 

  11. I think that this is an issue that many parents tend to forget and pass right on by. My ex husband used to do a lot of online gaming, PC and console, and I was shocked as to how many weirdos were actually on there. The internet can be such a dangerous place, sometimes more dangerous than everyday life. It’s so important to education our children on internet and game safety!
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  12. I can’t tell you how much this makes me nervous. Lately we’ve been discussing why he will never have an Instagram account. They think so innocently…
    Kerry Ann @Vinobaby’s Voice recently posted..A Fresh Turn on the Path Not Taken: YOUR PERFECT LIFE by Liz Fenton and Lisa SteinkeMy Profile

    • Oh, I know! Mine asked about instagram. I said no for now, falling back on how instagram’s terms of service say he’s too young. 

  13. Wow.  I didn’t think about that.  For now I have younger kids so it is not an issue but I am sure it will be in the future.  Thanks for sharing!!
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  14. Isn’t it wild the parenting issues our generation has to face? As if it’s not a hard enough job, we have problems that no other generation has experienced.
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  15. Oh- I think i will have to make sure my kids understand this too.  My kids play minecraft but they don’t play in the modes that they can chat with anyone yet and I don’t think I am going to let them anytime soon.  
    Emmy recently posted..Summer DaysMy Profile

    • I really had no idea that mine were until this happened. I was so clueless about the game! (still am, really, but at least we cleared this part up)

  16. My kids are still little- so they do not have a need for internet yet. I am so not ready to monitor them!
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  17. Internet safety is important around here also. Great advice.
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  18. Jack is young but I can totally see how a kid would not think that typing with someone they don’t know is talking to someone they don’t know. Kids are so literal. 
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  19. Tas Googled ‘dirty sex’ the other day …
    and yes it was.
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  20. So scary to think that their brains can’t even comprehend the “talking” part. I worry about my kids and the future too
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  21. I wouldn’t have thought of that either. Thanks for sharing!!!! What age do you allow them to use social media? I am just curious, no judgement. I just like to learn from all the Mommy warriors who have gone before me. :) 
    April recently posted..Is Dad a comedian? Cafe press to the rescue for Father’s day!My Profile

    • My oldest is 9. I don’t let him have any social media accounts yet. I just don’t see a reason for it at this point. Plus, all of them have terms of service that generally say you have to be 13, so we’re waiting. We’ll see what social media looks like when he’s 13 and decide what is appropriate then.

  22. Ohhhhhhh totally wouldn’t have thought of that!!!

  23. It’s so true that kids are as literal as can be! It was easier for me because we had one point of access online in our house and it was a shared computer which was in the family room. That made monitoring a lot easier.
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  24. Your kid definitely took that as literal as possible. Unless he was smart enough to take literal to the loophole level, lol. :P
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  25. Very great point to stress, and very kind of you to share. I can see something like this getting lost in transition (totally not on purpose!) in our house too.

  26. Internet safety is so important and something that is constantly changing. My children are still too little to use it, but these are great points you brought up.
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  27. Internet safety is so important and a great thing to teach kids. SO glad you shared this post!
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  28. I should save this to review for later. These are great conversation starts for internet safety. 
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  29. I can totally see this happening. Kids take things literally – and they also feel safe and protected behind a computer screen. 

  30. You can’t forget games.  Many of the Xbox and Playstation games have these features as well.  It is hard to keep up with every way that a child can connect to others over the internet.
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  31. Oh that is a great reminder! I don’t think I would have thought of that either! So glad you caught it quickly!!
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  32. My son is not getting to being online and I’m trying to cover as much as I can. But so many things kids get into we can’t always think of. I think you have the right idea. Keep talking to them and be aware of what they do online.
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  33. It is very important to talk with our children about the internet all the time. As the internet grows more pervasive more and more dangerous things are at our children’s disposal.

  34. i want to get a dedicated server so My kids can talk with their friends and only their friends can play. if we are around public areas and they are playing I make them turn of chat. It is so scary.
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  35. This is a great reminder for someone with a child just starting to get into computers and the Internet. It’s time for a looooong discussion.
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