Younger kids should not be online without adult supervision, according to van der Zande. “So often, when it comes to technology, adults abandon their roles as leaders.” According to van der Zande, “Even if you don’t understand the technology,” you can co-pilot. Ask kids to explain what they’re doing so you can supervise.
Older grandkids may expect more privacy when online. Ninety-five percent of teens (ages 12 to 17) are online today, according to NetSmartz Workshop, a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Teens who are online are likely interacting with their friends. But ensure they know they can’t meet with someone they've only talked to online, and explain that they should never post personal information (like their address or full name) or photos without permission from adults, says van der Zande. No one should know kids' passwords besides parents.
Discuss cyberbullying and explain that they should always tell a parent or guardian if someone is sending bullying messages. Teach kids that they also shouldn't respond to any rude messages, but they should save messages as evidence, according to NetSmartz.