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The Resource Center Child Identity Theft & Protection | article

Teach your kids to be good digital citizens

When you were a kid, your parents taught you all of the ins and outs of being an honest and productive member of society by giving you pointers on successful social interaction. While you may be equipped to teach your kids the ins and outs of operating in the real world, you may not be as prepared to guide your child in cyberspace by empowering them with the basics of identity theft prevention.

Here are a few tips and tricks you can follow to help make sure your son or daughter isn’t being a bad citizen of the internet:

  • Engage with your children online – Use time surfing the internet as a bonding experience, discovering new and interest websites or online communities together as parent and child. This shows you are interested in what your child is doing online, give you an accurate picture of their activity and allow you to constructively guide them should they come across inappropriate or even dangerous content.
  • Good choices should be commended – Give your child more internet freedom developmentally as they prove they can competently make good decisions on their own. Remain conscious of their online activity by acting as an identity monitor and blocking websites that pose a threat for fraud, but allow them to take the wheel at a certain stage when it comes to identity theft prevention.
  • Teach critical thinking – Make sure that your child is aware of what an unsafe website looks like by first becoming well versed in the safety features available online. Explain to them what a secure website is and how to identify one – the green safe lock in the search bar – and the fact that even when you are on a safe website, never give out personal identification information, like a Social Security number.

Your child can learn and enjoy a lot that the internet has to offer if they make the right choices and act as good cyber citizens.