Discussion Guide

Digital Safety: The Fundamentals

Just like you teach kids how to use basic safety skills before riding a bike, they need to learn digital safety basics and how to be a good digital citizen before they operate devices — whether shared or one of their own.
video game controller


Why talking about this is important

Start small by talking to your child about the basics of exploring online (i.e.: password safety, keeping personal information private, and learning what it means to be a digital citizen). You can show your child how online safety is similar to offline safety, and continue the conversation as your child matures.

In this guide you will:

  • Have the first conversation about what digital safety means.
  • Build a relationship of trust and openness for ongoing conversation.
  • Take an online course and/or consider establishing family safety rules and guidelines together.
  • Start developing your child’s understanding of when to ask for help or involve an adult when something happens online.

What to expect from your kid

If you haven’t already talked to kids about digital safety, it’s possible that they may not have even heard the term before. However, some schools may incorporate digital safety information. Even if kids may have heard about some aspects already, digital safety covers a wide spectrum of topics and there is always more to learn. Every family is different.

First steps

How to start talking

Your child may seem uninterested or bored when discussing digital safety. Don’t worry, they pick up on more than what you think. Modeling is key and what they watch you do will be an important part of what they learn. Here are some key moments:
  • They begin using your devices without direct supervision.
  • They want to download a new game or app.
  • You notice that they’ve watched several videos in a playlist on YouTube.
  • They are issued a laptop or tablet at school.
  • They begin asking for their own device.

Now that you have access to our family device, it is important for us to talk about staying safe online.

Conversation Script

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Related Discussion Guides

While you’ll come back to conversations about digital safety as your kid grows up, it is also a perfect entry point to one of these other discussion guides.

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