Safety (on the) 'Net

Cyber Risk: Sharing Personal Information

What You Can Do: You gotta have the talk. The Internet can seem abstract to a kid, so it's hard for him to understand that sharing information is a big deal. Plus, he's at an age where confiding information is a way of bonding with friends. Explain that keeping passwords and other personal information private is just as important as locking your house at night and staying away from strangers. Work together to make sure his username doesn't include any identifying details and that his password isn't easy to guess (it's a good idea to include numbers as well as letters). You don't want to scare your child, but you need to be frank about dangers. "Tell him that if something bad happens or he sees something upsetting, it's not his fault and he's not in trouble, but it's really important for him to tell you about it," says Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety.org.

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