Adults and children have turned to digital tools for school, work, and socialization. Kids and teens also spend time online playing games, watching videos, and using social networking sites.
Here are a few tips to keep your kids safer online:
- Make ground rules. Involving children in setting rules may help them follow them. Consider setting rules such as finishing schoolwork before using social media or online gaming, no devices during meals, no devices after a specific time, and a specific amount of time doing non-electronic activities each day.
- Take the FBI Safe Online Surfing course. This course will help you and your kids learn how to spot suspicious activity online.
- Check out CISA’s cybersecurity awareness program resources. The page is full of resources and materials to help you start a discussion with your kids about their internet use.
- Modify how you monitor. Even the strictest content blockers can’t ensure your kids are totally protected online. The best tools for keeping kids safe are your time, attention, and having conversations about digital behaviors. Consider setting up your child’s electronic devices in an area with quick visual access for easy check-ins from parents.
- Learn about the platforms. Get familiar with the platforms your kids use like Instagram or TikTok. Taking an interest in the games or platforms your kids use will help you understand what your kids are doing online.
- Talk to your kids. Stress the importance of maintaining healthy relationships online. Create a safe space for your kids to talk about anything uncomfortable happening to them online.
If your kids are dealing with cyberbullies or potential online enticement, report it immediately. You can report suspicious activity to ICE, 1-866-347-2423; TTY for hearing impaired: (802) 872-6196 or via the online form, to law enforcement and/or CyperTipline.
Employee Resources and Benefits
DHS cares about your family and have resources in place to help you support your loved ones. Your Component EAP can provide counseling services for your or any member of your household at no cost. Contact your Component EAP specialist or reach out to the DHS Worklife Specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on programs that can help you with your dependent care needs.