A mother will always go above and beyond to protect her kids, and nowadays, that protection is needed online more than ever. Cyberbullying is on the rise with reports stating that nearly 42% of kids have been bullied.

Screen-free time for children is becoming a thing of the past. Gen Alpha is said to use online platforms to make friendships more than any other generation, and as they get older, they’ll continue to need guidance on how to remain safe online. How can you keep your kids safe? Here are seven tips for the mom teaching her child online safety.

Use Parental Controls

Parents can adjust privacy settings and use parental controls for most online games, apps, social media sites and electronic devices. If you cannot, then your child should not be using the app.

Parental controls allow you to block certain apps or types of inappropriate content. You can disable location tracking. You can also manage and track passwords for your kids.

Set Time Limits

The same way your parents once set a curfew for you, setting a time limit for internet access is crucial. This might look like a certain amount of time online each day (no more than three hours after school and none during school hours) and setting a curfew (no social media after 9:00 p.m.). It’s essential to set and enforce time limits for social media and internet use with your kids. 

Monitor Your Children’s Social Media Use

There are a number of helpful apps to monitor your child’s social media use. One example is Bark, which offers advanced content monitoring for your kid’s devices. Features include tracking your child’s location, managing screen time, blocking websites and monitoring your kid’s content all while sending you alerts 24/7. The goal of apps like Bark is to look out for any signs of danger on your child’s phone or device.

One other parenting pro-tip is to create an account on all social media platforms where your kids are. This allows you to monitor what they’re posting and keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior on her posts.

Caution Kids From Posting Content That Is Too Personal 

There are certain things that kids should never share online: including their address, phone number, social security number or their schedule or daily routines. Online predators look for personal information, including your child’s location and whereabouts. 

One rule-of-thumb to follow is never to post your current location or address. For example if you and your kids are out of town, tell them to hold those fun vacation photos until their return.

Require Approval for Every App Download

It’s not possible to stay up-to-date on all the most recent apps, but a boundary you can set in place for safekeeping is that all apps have to be approved by you before downloading. This allows you to not only monitor expenses and what your child is spending, but also to protect your kids from seeing or reading inappropriate content.

Know Who They Are Talking to Online

Kids make friends online the way you used to make friends on the playground. Establish open communication with your child about their online friends. One great rule to follow is to only allow your kids to speak to people online who they know in person. This limits inappropriate interactions with predators who may be pretending to be kids.

Talk to Your Kids Honestly

The world of the internet and social media is full of misinformation and bad people. Knowledge is powerful. Talk to your kids about the dangers of social media and online use and encourage them to share anything that seems inappropriate or even a little off. 

Explain how predators groom children by creating fake accounts, befriending children and establishing trust with them. Inform them about cyberstalking and harassment. Encourage them to never say anything online that they wouldn’t say in person. Talk to them about online bullying and create an open space for them to share what they are seeing and experiencing.