Online safety (Part 1): 5 tips to share with kids

By Children’s Librarian Eileen Saam

The internet can be a powerful educational tool and a fun place for kids to explore, but here at the library, we understand that online safety for kids is top-of-mind for parents and caregivers.

Keeping kids safe online can feel like an insurmountable task, but I’ve gathered some information to help you get started.

Share these 5 online safety tips with kids

The best way to understand how kids are using the internet is to keep an open dialog with them about their online activity. Having a conversation about internet usage lets kids know that you are looking out for their safety and the key to keeping them safe online.

Here are some safety tips to share:

  1. Never share personal information online. Do not share your full name, home address, school name, telephone number, or birthday without permission from a parent or caregiver. Keep your passwords private except from parents or guardians.
  2. Don’t post or share photos or videos online. Private information can be collected and shared through posted photos and videos without your knowledge. Don’t post online without permission from a parent or caregiver.
  3. Don’t click links, open attachments, or downloads from someone you don’t know. Sometimes attachments contain viruses that can harm your computer. Always talk to your parents before downloading software or opening an email attachment or link.
  4. Don’t respond to emails, texts, or messages from people you don’t know. Tell your parents if a stranger contacts you. Don’t communicate with someone online that you don’t know unless you have permission from a parent or guardian.
  5. Never agree to meet someone you met online. Not everything you read online is true. Unfortunately, sometimes people pretend to be someone they are not. So, unless you have permission from a parent or caregiver, do not make plans to meet someone you met online.

Watch these videos together

Check out these videos from Common Sense Media for kids and parents to watch together.

Explore more online resources

Although many of the same safety tips apply, online safety can mean different things for different age groups. As kids get older and gain more independence, it’s important to continue to talk about online safety.

Check out these online safety guides for different age groups from an Australian parenting website,

Here are some more resources to help navigate discussions with kids and to learn more about keeping kids safe online:


About Eileen

Eileen Saam is a children’s digital learning librarian who loves discovering new things, learning from others, and sharing with children the joy and wonder of books. One of her favorite things to do at the library is to help children, families, and teachers find books and digital resources that delight and inspire them.