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Online Safety

A few years ago, I met with a family whose child had gotten into a dangerous situation online.

The family could not understand how that could happen since they didn’t have a computer. All they had was an iPad with some apps and games. We asked if he watched YouTube or used any social media sites.  “Of course,” they responded. “That’s how he visits with his friends! They all use social media”. 
Children with a phone, tablet, or computer connected to the internet can instantaneously access information worldwide. It can be a valuable and fantastic resource. Yet, with one click, they can enter a very dark world. 
As parents and loving adults, we are responsible for caring for our children, protecting them, and training them to be wise and discerning. The use of online technology is no exception. Social networking, online gaming, YouTube, and even using Apps can put children at risk of phishing, bullying, and even worse.  Online safety training can protect our children for years as they move to independence. 
General tips for online safety are helpful for all ages. Here are a few:

  • Have your children and teens only use technology when you can hover over their shoulders.  Be present and always able to view what they are doing.
  • Train them to stay safe (see tips below).
  • Monitor your children’s accounts and have access to all that they view. 
  • Implement parental controls (see links below).

God’s word urges us to take seriously the charge of training our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). While we don’t want to scare our children, we do want them to learn how to use technology tools with discernment and understanding.  Here are a few training tips.
Children and teens, please:

  • Always check with your parents if you want to use a new tool or website.
  • Check with your parents before you post pictures.
  • Only download something if a trusted adult approves it.
  • Never share your password with anyone except known and trusted adults.
  • If something makes you feel uncomfortable, tell your parents right away.
  • Never say something online that you wouldn’t say in person.
  • Never post personal information.
  • Turn off location services on social media sites.
  • Never agree to meet a person you have met online.
  • Never, never text and drive.
  • Taken in part from

  There are many resources for parents to help keep their children safe. I’ve listed a few resources that might be helpful.

  1. Axis provides resources for parents to use with their children, especially teens. “Our vision is to see all caring adults equipped with the conversation, discipleship, and culture translation skills needed to reach the next generation for Christ.”
        (Has suggestions for monitoring)

       2. Focus on the Family

       3. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

       4. Federal Trade Commission
There are so many helpful resources!  We pray that our students will learn to use the internet healthily and productively. 

-Natelle Austin


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