10 things kids should NEVER do online

The key to developing healthy online practices is to have open and frequent conversations about safety and responsible use of the Internet, and to start these conversations early. Start talking about online safety with your children at a young age. Because it gets harder when they’re teenagers and it gets harder to get between them and their phones, said Yaron Litwin, digital safety expert and chief marketing officer of Canopy, an AI-powered smart filter that helps keep kids safe online.

Most experts and parents agree that kids shouldn’t have unlimited access to the internet until at least the age of 10, but that’s often easier said than done and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Despite the challenges of monitoring your children’s myriad of online activities, some behaviors should be strictly prohibited. For a list of internet safety tips for kids, here are 10 Things They Should Never do online, according to their age.

Internet safety tips for kids ages 5-8

You have no social media profiles: Apps like TikTok and Snapchat can be irresistible to kids due to fun social media trends like dance challenges and viral music clips that see older kids create and participate, but public social media profiles can expose kids to inappropriate contact, harassment or targeting. The expert consensus is that children should wait until age 14 or 15 to create public-facing social media accounts.

Do not talk to strangers: This advice we often give our kids IRL applies doubly online because of the dangers of catfishing, trolling, and spoofing. Children should never talk to strangers online, even if the stranger seems friendly. Let your child know in an age-appropriate way that anyone online can pretend to be someone else and that predators often target children because of their innocence and openness.

Do not use the Internet without limits or supervision: Screen time has increased exponentially in recent years, especially for young children. Children need to experience a healthy balance between online and offline activities, and parents can help by setting clear limits on screen time and supervising young children’s online activities.

Related: 10 Reasons You Need To Teach Your Kids Internet Safety

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