Safety Tips by Age – 8-10-Year-Olds

Eight- to ten-year-old kids have a strong sense of family. They are interested in the activities of older kids in their lives; they are starting to develop a sense of their own moral and gender identity; and they tend to be trusting and not to question authority.

Surfing for fun and playing interactive games are favourite online pastimes at this age. They are using e-mail and may also experiment with instant messaging,

8 to 10-year olds:

  • are curious and interested in discovering new information
  • lack the critical thinking skills to be online alone
  • are vulnerable to online marketers who encourage them to give out personal information through surveys, contests and registration forms
  • may be frightened by realistic portrayals of violence, threats or dangers
  • begin to communicate with online acquaintances they may have not met in real life
  • may be influenced by media images and personalities, especially those that appear “cool” or desirable
  • may be exposed to search results with links to inappropriate Web sites
  • are vulnerable to online predators when using chat rooms, message boards or instant messaging

Safety tips

  • Create a list of Internet house rules with input from your kids.
  • Sit with your kids when they are online or make sure they only visit sites that you have approved.
  • Keep Internet-connected computers in an open area where you can easily monitor them.
  • Investigate Internet-filtering tools as a complement – not a replacement – for parental supervision.
  • Use kid-friendly search engines or search engines with parental controls.
  • Establish a shared family e-mail account with your Internet Service Provider rather than letting your kids have their own accounts.
  • Teach your kids to always come to you before giving out information through e-mail, chat rooms, message boards, registration forms, personal profiles and online contests.
  • Use e-mail filters to block messages from particular people, or those that contain specific words or phrases.
  • Don’t allow instant messaging at this age.
  • Only allow your kids to use monitored chat rooms and message boards on reputable kids’ sites.
  • Talk to your kids about their online friends and activities just as you would about their other activities.
  • Talk to them about healthy sexuality because kids can easily come across online pornography.
  • Encourage your kids to come to you if they encounter anything online that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened.
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