How to Teach Your Kids Cyber Safety
Blog - April 15, 2017

How often do we pause before we post online?  I am guilty of deleting messages, posts and pictures.  But we all know that they never really go away.  These days nothing gets erased.

Not only do I have to practice the art of pausing (I call it an art because sometimes it takes a lot of restraint).  I have learned the hard way to pause with typing (emails) and having simple conversations, but as a parent I am responsible for teaching my kids to pause.  Practice, not perfection, right?

If not, there can be huge consequences.  Kids are taking bigger risks today too, with technology at their fingertips.

So, how can we teach our kids about cyber security?

Well, two great minds got together, Garfield creator Jim Davis and Pat Craven, the director for the Center for Cyber Safety & Education and discussed how their partnership could create a more cyber-aware generation.

In collaboration with Paws, Inc., the Center has been creating cartoons, comic books, posters, trading cards, stickers, and other materials with the Safe and Secure Online program to help educators and parents teach children how to become responsible digital citizens. The latest lesson addresses online etiquette and later the other lessons will address cyberbullying, downloading movies and music, and more.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Pat Craven and he told me about their program and its plans.

The Garfield program is designed for smaller children (grades 1-6).  Pat says, “what we try to do is teach fundamentals of what you post online and what you shouldn’t post online and teach behavioral skills and we’ve teamed up with Davis, in a way to reach out to children in a format that they are familiar with- a cartoon.”

He told me with how one simple photo, you can right click and find out the exact location of where it was taken down to the apartment building.  That’s frightening.

But like he said, “unplugging is not an option because there are too many educational opportunities on the internet.”  We just need to be educated on what we should be doing to make ourselves safer, by thinking before we click.

This isn’t about Facebook or Twitter.  Those social platforms might be gone in a couple of years.  It doesn’t matter which platform you use, you still don’t post your address.  This is one of the fundamentals that the Garfield Program teaches.

Center director, Pat Craven reflects, “These days, children as young as five years old are spending time online. It’s impossible to supervise them constantly, so we owe it to them to empower them with the instincts and knowledge they need to protect themselves whenever they’re online. With so many kids of all ages just having received connected devices as gifts this past Christmas, this is the perfect opportunity for parents to initiate that dialogue with their kids as to what content is appropriate to post and what can get them into trouble.”

The Garfield materials are the latest adaptation of The Safe and Secure Online Program, which has helped over 75,000 kids around the world become cyber-safe.

The Safe and Secure Online educational program  offers an in-classroom kit for educators and leaders everywhere to teach children internet safety. Learn more here and help keep the children in your community safe online! Parents can now order comic books and more with our individual Garfield Cyber Safety Packet. Children can learn online with Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures.

For more information about the kits click HERE

Order Garfield Cyber Safety Adventure Educator Kits and Packets HERE

To volunteer click HERE

Download The 12 Days of Cyber Security HERE

Check them out on Social Media:


  1. My daughter is in the age where she is starting to play certain games that have interaction with others. These are great ideas in teaching our kids!

  2. Cyber safety for kids is so important. Even as adults we need to be extra careful. It’s good to teach kids how to handle this at a young age.

  3. Cyber has its own pros and cons. I agree children should be taught about cyber safety at right time so that they’ll use it in correct manner.

  4. Child safety is very important especially with all the dangerd they may encounter online. I think this program will help a lot in terms of security and safety.

  5. It’s​ good to know that there’s a program that helps educate kids about online safety. I think this is really awesome. It will put any parent’s mind at ease.

  6. This is such a wonderful idea! You just can’t be too careful online, and we really have to teach our kids young that they have to be caution on what they post and who they interact with. This is such a great idea to help get kids interested in such an important topic. Who doesn’t love Garfield!

  7. ooooh this is good stuff. I’m going to bookmark it and mention it to a ghostwriting client of mine. If we reference you, may we use some quotes from this post? I have a feeling she’ll be interested in doing a post on cyber security 😀

  8. im glad someone posted things like this! i am really cautious to my son when it comes to internet!! this is a helpful post to all moms!

  9. It is important to sit down with your kids and develop a cyber safety plan. Many kids are wondering “what is cyber safety” and this is what we need to answer. This is your opportunity to spend some quality time bonding with your kids while enabling the conversation of cyber safety without them feeling like you are lecturing them.

  10. My kids are old enough to know better. However, I am worried about my young nephew and niece. They are in their tweens and constantly on the internet. I will let my sister know about the individual Garfield Cyber Safety Packet. Thanks for sharing this very timely post.

  11. My son is only four and I worry about this all the time. He seems to have already figured out wifi on his tablet!

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