Online Safety Rules To Teach To Your Teens


Whether you consider yourself a seasoned parent or not, one thing is clear: keeping teenagers safe online might be a complicated task to do. 

As they start spending more time online, they tend to share their online whereabouts less and less.

Unfortunately, 27% of children aged 7 to 17 have found harmful online content.

This means that their safety isn’t just a precaution; it’s an essential skill for them to develop. 

In this article, we’ll review the crucial rules that will empower teenagers to enjoy the internet without danger. 

Rule 1: keep personal information to yourself

First things first: information online can be stolen, sold, and used against you in less time than it takes to blink.

Teach your kids never to share their personal information. Names, phone numbers, addresses, schools… it’s best if only their real-life friends know about it. 

Research shows that 20% of millennials and 18% of Gen Z have had their identities stolen at least once. 

Oversharing online is a mistake we can all make, so it’s best to let your kids know about the possible consequences. 

Rule 2: don’t underestimate the power of a good password

Although many people have one or two passwords for all their accounts, this doesn’t mean it’s right. 

Encourage your children to keep a record of their passwords on paper or in a secure password manager, and to never use the same password for all of their accounts. 

It’s even better if they get creative and mix numbers, symbols, and letters in order to create a more complex password. Also, caution them against sharing the passwords with their friends. 

Rule 3: don’t click on everything you see

Your teens should learn this mantra of a mindful internet user: “Pause. Think. Click.” 

Not all links or pop-ups are friendly and safe, and it might seem like basic information to you, but teenagers might simply not know it. 

There’s a difference between legitimate and fake websites: teach them to spot those differences and avoid clicking on weird links. If you hover over links, you can see where they send you. 

Encourage them to verify the website’s credibility, look for secure connections, and check for reputable sources before visiting any new websites. 

Rule 4: don’t trust strangers

Teenagers might be aware of the dangers of real life, and certainly, the digital world seems to share some of these dangers. Strangers aren’t friends! 

Educate your kids about strange message requests, especially if they come from people they don’t know in real life. Teach them to not befriend everyone who sends them a request but prefer those people, who they know in real life.

At the same time, encourage your children to talk to you about their problems. If anything is bothering them, they should be able to find refuge in your presence. Open communication is a must. 

Rule 5: keep privacy settings on point

Privacy settings are essential. Navigate them with your teenagers. Social media and email platforms have privacy options, and they should know about them. 

Unfortunately, 70% of parents haven’t installed software to protect their kids’ privacy on their computers, and 80% have ignored their phones and gaming consoles as well. 

Your kids should know how to adjust these settings. Help them understand that their privacy is way more important than the likes they can get from a post. You can even teach them what is VPN and its benefits for their privacy. 

Rule 6: protect them against cyberbullying

Unfortunately, parents aren’t superheroes: we can’t protect our kids from everything, and that’s only natural. We can, however, talk to them about possible dangers, including cyberbullying. 

Teenagers should know that it’s not okay for them to go through it or inflict it on others. Our digital selves are a reflection of who we are in real life. So, if you notice that your teen is feeling down or moody lately, ask them if everything is okay both in the offline and online worlds.

Again, open communication is a key to having a trusting relationship. In turn, it’ll allow you to protect your children better. And who wouldn’t want that?


The digital realm is filled with opportunities. Your teens should know how to take advantage of them without risking their safety online. 

If you foster open communication and teach them these basic rules of staying safe from cybercriminals, they will be better equipped to protect themselves online. Your involvement matters.

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