Be Internet Awesome: Internet Safety for Kids & Families
Empower Your Kids to Be Internet Awesome
I’ve always been passionate about teaching my kids online safety, so I was thrilled to be invited to partner with the Forward Influence Network and share this really awesome program by Google, with you! You can follow all the content happening about this awesome initiate by following hashtags #ItsCoolToBeKind and #BeInternetAwesome!
YES – the internet is an excellent place for learning, exploring, and having fun. But let’s be honest, it can be a scary place too, especially for kids (and parents of said kids!). There are a lot of dishonest people online, sketchy websites, scams, and even cyberbullies.
Rather than preventing our kids from using the internet altogether, we can empower them by teaching (and modeling) proper internet safety and digital habits… or in Google’s words, we can teach them how to Be Internet Awesome!
What is Be Internet Awesome?
Be Internet Awesome is a free program provided by Google that teaches kids (or anyone really) how to be upstanding digital citizens, and how to interact with the online world safely and securely. The program is available in English and Spanish, and it’s filled with great lessons to teach the five areas of Internet awesomeness:
- Smart (Share with Care) – Knowing how to communicate responsibly online with those you know, and with strangers.
- Alert (Don’t Fall for Fake) – Being able to spot potential scams online.
- Strong (Secure Your Secrets) – Knowing how to keep your personal information and accounts safe, and how to create strong passwords.
- Kind (It’s Cool to Be Kind) – Use the internet to spread positivity and kindness and learn how to deal with mean or inappropriate behavior.
- Brave (When in Doubt, Talk It Out) – Knowing how and when you should talk to an adult about something questionable online.
These are what Google calls the fundamentals of the internet code of awesome, and I love the message they deliver. HINT: find some quick tips for each of the areas in this helpful guide.
There are so many great ways to teach these areas of internet awesomeness… we used some of the tools as a family:
Interland sounds like someplace from the future, but it’s actually a free online game that teaches the core fundamentals we talked about above, in a fun, interactive way. Inside the game, you’ll find four lands:
- Reality River
- Mindful Mountain
- Kind Kingdom
- Tower of Treasure
As your kids explore Interland they’ll spread kindness, stop hackers, prevent phishers from stealing information, and more, all while having a blast. This is such a great way for kids to learn about internet safety! In fact, I couldn’t get my son to get off the game!! When he finished the first round, there was a little quiz and he got a little certificate. 🙂 Pretty cool and rewarding!
Play Interland with your kids and put your kindness skills to the test at g.co/KindKingdom
Be Internet Awesome Family Guide
Along with the comprehensive Be Internet Awesome Curriculum, there is also a Be Internet Awesome Family Guide. This guide is focused on helping families walk through and learn the five fundamentals of internet awesomeness. There are real-life scenarios to learn from, vocabulary lessons, and activities for you to do with your kids!
Digital Wellbeing Family Guide
What I really love is the Digital Wellbeing Family Guide which is full of ideas to help you and your family create healthy digital habits. It is so easy to be distracted by our screens and technology. Healthy digital habits are so important these days!! I talked about a Social Media Detox here. But the strategies and ideas listed in this Digital Wellbeing Family Guide are awesome!
I took a screenshot from each topic to give you a quick overview of just some of the awesome talking points in this guide. I highly encourage you to sit down with your family and review each of the topics covered in the guide. There are excellent discussion points for each topic!
- Decide when and how to use devices (does technology keep us from being present?!?! – YES!)
- Find positive content
- Determine when your kids are ready for a device
- Use social media meaningfully and responsibly
- Make gaming a positive experience
- Balance offline and online activities
Be Internet Awesome Pledge
And last but not least, after you and your family have gone through the resources above, you can each sign the Be Internet Awesome Pledge to commit to being awesome internet citizens. Make sure to pin the pledge up on your fridge or somewhere else where you’ll see it every day!
Learn more about how to be kind online with Google’s Be Internet Awesome Family Guide at g.co/BeInternetAwesome.
Go Spread Some Kindness!
I partnered up with Be Internet Awesome because I love the message they’re delivering. I truly believe teaching our kids how to be safe and positive in the online world will have a huge impact on the future, and this free program is a great way to get educated.
Now that you’ve read through the concept, how about spreading some kindness right now? Go to your favorite blog or your friend’s social media page and post something positive! Then leave a comment below! See what I’m doing on instagram and how my kids and I are spreading kindness here!
Finally, I’ll leave you with this message from Be Internet Awesome themselves:
It’s cool to be kind: be a positive digital citizen by treating others how you’d like to be treated online, just as in real life. How you and your friends treat each other online will have a big impact on the digital world your generation builds – not to mention the offline world too.
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