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The New Safety Basics

For a long time, Internet safety stressed 'stranger danger.' But studies have shown that only kids who were already inclined toward risky behavior were the ones likely to get into trouble. Instead, Internet safety is more akin to being a responsible driver. Kids need to understand the rules of the road so they can maximize their privacy and minimize the risks of damaging their reputations.

5 Ways to Keep Kids Safe

  1. Keep personal information private.

  2. Use privacy settings and don't share passwords.

  3. Kids need to think before they post because anything can be copied, and sent broadly.

  4. What goes around comes around: no humiliating posts.

  5. It's best to self-reflect before self-revealing.

Mobile Devices

Common Sense Media videos that provide parents with helpful tips and information:

Cell Phone Survival Guide: Parent Tip -- When you give your kid a cell phone, you're handing over a powerful tool that connects them to the world. Get essential tips for helping kids use their cell phones safely, responsibly, and respectfully.

Guide to Kids and Cell Phones: Parent Tip -- Everything parents need to know before they buy their kids a cell phone.

High-Tech Mobile Devices and Kids: Parent Tip -- Electronic devices like e-readers, smartphones, and tablet computers are becoming a big part of many kids’ daily lives. Help them get the best out of these digital devices while minimizing the downsides.

Parents and Teachers Must Guide

It's up to parents and teachers to help kids become responsible and honest citizens of the future. That means they have to be able to apply the lessons they learn in life to their online and mobile lives. Be kind, be honest. Don't do something that would harm another. Make sure you know who and what you can trust. Be careful about what you reveal to others. We teach our kids these things every day. Let's remember to extend our parenting wisdom to their online and mobile worlds.