A Guide to Teaching Children Basic Internet Safety, Part 1 of 2

As the Vice President of Customer Success at private tech company Reputation.com, I worked closely with customers to ensure they maintain a positive experience dealing with the firm. Dedicated to helping individuals monitor and manage their online identities, Reputation.com offers a valuable service during a time when Internet defamation can be performed anonymously with the click of a button. As the father of two daughters, one thing I realize is that Internet safety and protection of a person’s online reputation begins at an early age in the home and at school. My colleagues and I compiled the following tips on how parents and teachers can encourage positive web-browsing habits in school-age children.

Participate positively in their online activities. Pay attention to the websites they visit and show your appreciation for their constructive use of the Internet. Turn web surfing into a bonding activity by doing it with them. If they do encounter inappropriate sites and material or participate in unsafe uses of the Internet, create a teaching moment from the experience.

Explain the implications of poor Internet conduct to your children. Make sure they recognize the public nature of the online world and the risks of sharing personal information through the web. Sit down with them and discuss how anything in digital form, including photos and e-mails, sent through the Internet can easily be copied and collected and rarely removed.

Encourage good digital citizenry in them by reminding them to respect the personal information and identities of their friends, family, and acquaintances. Teach them to avoid contact and to especially refrain from sharing personal details with people they meet strictly online.

About the Author: An accomplished executive within the technology industry, Alan Chambless maintains a long history of success at Silicon Valley firms. Immediately prior to joining Reputation.com, he served as Intuit Inc.’s Customer Support and Sales Operations Manager and before that as the Vice President of Sales at Homestead Technologies Inc. He now acts as Vice President of Player Experience at Kabam.

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