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Department of Homeland Security- Addressing Kid’s Safety Online

“The Internet offers a world of opportunities. People of all ages are: posting video from mobile devices, building online profiles, texting each other from their mobile devices, creating alter egos in the form of online avatars, connecting with friends online they don’t see regularly in person, sending photos to friends, broadcasting what they’re doing to hundreds of people.” -Department of Homeland Security

Online safety is an ever growing concern to most parents today. Our lives and our children’s lives are increasingly more involved in the internet. The DHS is hoping to raise and address these concerns to help keep our kids safe online. They have started a campaign to educate and provide resources to parents, the “Stop. Think. Connect” campaign.

Some of the top concerns that they address are:

Inappropriate conduct:

The online world can feel anonymous. Kids sometimes forget that they are still accountable for their actions. Kids need to understand that interactions have consequences and with the anonymity of not being face to face with someone, it’s easy to forget.

Inappropriate contact:

Some people online have bad intentions, including bullies, predators, hackers, and scammers. There are more and more dangerous people trying to target children in our country.

Inappropriate content:

You may be concerned that your kids could find pornography, violence, or hate speech online. You can reduce these risks by talking to your kids about how they communicate—online and off— and encouraging them to engage in conduct they can be proud of.

This Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign guide covers what you need to know, where to go for more information, and issues to raise with kids about living their lives online.

We recommend every parent check out the resources that the Stop.Think.Connect campaign provides. Then talk to your children about the internet, the risks and what they should know to be responsible and safe when they are online.

You can also download a free copy of the DHS’s guide, “Chatting with Kids About Being Online”.