Tips for keeping your kids safe in cyberspace this summer


School’s almost out, and your kids will probably want to spend lots of time on phones, tablets and computers this summer. While these devices can be a great way to stay connected, it’s important to recognize the risks lurking online and take steps to keep your children safe in cyberspace.

Here are four tips to help keep your kids safe this summer:

Have cyber-safety discussions early and often! Talk to your children about their behavior online. While it’s up to you to make the rules, best practices include limiting their communication with strangers, thinking twice about what kind of photos and videos they share with friends, avoiding posting sensitive information, and steering clear of accessing harmful or misleading content.

Keep your private information private. Model responsible behavior by keeping private information off your public social media accounts. Your kids’ birthdays, the names of their schools and photographs of the front of your house are just a few examples of the type of sensitive information you should avoid sharing. Modeling this responsible behavior will encourage your kids to follow suit.

Store phones and other devices in common areas. Implement a house rule that all electronic devices must be placed in a common area for charging overnight. By keeping phones, tablets and computers out of your kids’ bedrooms, you’ll sleep better because you’ll know that they aren’t accessing questionable material at all hours of the night.

Install and enable parental controls. Before you purchase your next device, take a look at the safety features to ensure that they include everything you want. For a device your child already has, take the time to research and understand the options available in the device, and consider your child’s age, to determine which controls are appropriate. Consider using a parental-control app that can help monitor and restrict your child’s online activity. These apps provide information about your child’s usage patterns and block inappropriate content, and can even set limits on screen time.

LINDSAY LIEBERMAN is a cyber attorney with over a decade of experience representing victims of sex crimes, crimes against children and cyberbullying. She is also an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University, in Newport. Reach her at her website,, or email

kids, cyber-safety