Netiquette for parents
Authored by a Symantec employee
No one said parenting is easy. Especially when your children are doing things in the cyber world that you as a child never imagined. With the wealth of information and non-traditional methods of making friends and hanging out, our children are no doubt having a good time, thanks to the advancements in technology. But that still doesn’t mean they have the liberty to do as they please at the expense of others.
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An important aspect of parenting is setting a good example. Your kids will closely watch your online manners and etiquette. You need to be aware and educated about netiquette so that you stay ahead of the game.
Here are some suggestions for the ideal netizen:
- Be yourself. If you wouldn’t say it to someone in person, then don’t say it hiding behind a screen or a fake name.
- Do not use all caps. It’s the equivalent to shouting.
- Do not instigate and compound controversial topics with negative or hateful comments. Be a positive role model. Come up with suggestions to resolve issues or remain quiet.
- Always re-read and spell-check before you post anything online. A small typo can have disastrous repercussions.
- Never give away your personal information such as your telephone number, address, etc. At the same time, do not lie. It is one thing to not disclose some information, and it’s another thing to spread false information and rumors.
- Be careful how you word sentences. There is no body language online. What you write will be taken in the literal sense.
- When posting pictures make sure they are appropriate. Once something is out there, it is permanent. Even if you delete it, it has the potential to resurface later.
- Be mindful of who you tag in photos online. Put yourself in the place of the person you are tagging and decide if they would want that picture in their social media feed.
- Stand up for what is right, but do it in a dignified way. There is no need to use profanity to get your point across.
- When online, don’t make friends with people you don’t know. Social networking should be taken for what it is — a means to stay current and in touch. It’s not a competition for who has more friends.
Remember to “friend” your children and keep a watchful eye on their digital lives. There are many options for parents and children to use the Internet to its limitless possibilities. Norton Security Premium is one such option. It provides insight into your child’s social media usage, including how frequently they log in to social media sites from their PC, and the name and age they use on their profile. It also helps prevent your children from accidentally giving out sensitive personal information from their computer, including their phone number, address, school they attend, or email address.
As in real life, remember to employ good manners and treat people with respect and kindness in your digital life.
To learn more about conversations around cyberbullying, download our free eBook, “Cyberbullying: What You Need to Know.”
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