The internet can be a great place to get information, find fun videos along with many other things. However, the internet does have risks such as cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate material, online predators and the potential to reveal too much personal information. It is important to take steps to try and make internet safety a priority for your kids.

Having open communication with your kid about personal safety increases the likelihood of the child exhibiting responsible behaviors on their own.

Here are some tips to help keep your child safe no matter how they use the internet:

  • Put the computer in a place where there is a lot of activity or other people
  • Discuss websites that are ok and websites that are not ok to use
  • Set time limits to the websites that are acceptable
  • Technology is mobile so make sure you are aware of what they do on the cell phones, laptops and gaming devices
  • Let your kids watch you on the internet and show them what you like to do
  • Be aware of who is in contact with your child and set rules for social media, emails, online games, instant messages and webcams
  • Ongoingly talk to your kid about online safety

Having trouble starting a conversation about internet safety?

Here are some questions from NetSmartz to start the discussion:

  • What are your favorite things to do online?
  • What is personal information? Why should you keep it private?
  • What could you do to be safer online?
  • What would you do if anyone online asked to meet you face-to-face?
  • Besides me, who do you feel that you can talk to if you are in a scary or uncomfortable situation?

For more information you can visit:

Family Online Safety Institute https://www.fosi.org/
Common Sense Media https://www.commonsensemedia.org
SCSafetyNet https://icac.scag.gov/

Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland and Fenton, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Additionally, we offer psychiatric care in the form of evaluations and medication management. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.