Internet Safety for Kids
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, 33.8% students between 12 and 17 were victims of cyberbullying. To make matters worse, the following report indicates that there is a connection between bullying and suicide, as approximately 18% of students reported experiencing suicidal intentions during the past 12 months.
These internet safety statistics show that there is a serious threat to our youth, especially when it comes to their online safety. In fact, around 44% of teens admitted they’ve seen things on the Internet their parents wouldn’t approve, while 20% of them have been the target of unwanted sexual solicitation.
Today’s children have unlimited and immediate access to various content online, more than any generation before. Sure, the Internet has enriched our lives but it also represents a potential harm to our beloved ones. Although no one should avoid the advantages of a strong online connection, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure your kids are safe from cybercriminals.
Internet Safety Tips for Parents
Teach About Internet Safety
[su_quote cite=”Aaron Harder, developer of multiple web-based educational tools”]“Kids may be smarter about how to use technology, but adults are much more savvy about how to handle relationships. Develop a relationship of trust with the kids through open communication so that they will come to you when they encounter a problem, without worrying that you’ll ban them from their technology.”[/su_quote]
Instead of sheltering them from the Internet, start teaching them about online safety at a very young age. Look at it this way, if your children don’t have access before they become teenagers, they might not be able to control themselves when discovering all of the online possibilities. Which means they will become easy targets unless you gradually introduce them to this world and all of its dangers early on.
Although the role of a parent is to protect their kids at all times, children should be able to use a computer independently. Otherwise, they will go behind your back and won’t be able to open up to you in case they encounter potential threats. So, turn your internet safety tips into a productive discussion about internet security as they are growing up.
Let them know that online dangers are real by showing them examples of how quickly things can go wrong. Help them understand the consequences of posting all kinds of pictures and tell them the truth and nothing but the truth.
You can use a password manager like LogMeOnce. These kinds of tools are used to protect your passwords for all those sites and apps that you and your kid use on the Internet.
Stay Up-To-Date with the Latest Online Schemes
Though it might not be your cup of tea, the kids spend the most of their internet time on popular social media. Therefore, in order to truly protect them, you need to keep up with the latest technology, trends, and online schemes.
Of course, you can always turn on parental monitoring and apply some of the available parental control applications. But cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new scams, so monitoring kids from a digital distance just won’t cut it.
You need to download and regularly update the latest security measures and patches. In addition, tell your children about phishing and warn them to avoid clicking on every social media and email URL. Also, straighten both yours and your children’s passwords. The password for kids should be long and difficult to break considering that passwords are the first line of defense from hackers.
Think about implementing a quality password management system that will benefit all members of your family. After all, it might be better for you to be the only one who is in charge of the passwords.
Protect the Household
Internet safety is easily breakable via your home Wi-Fi network. Actually, according to the latest news, this other entry point for hackers that has been a breach. Apart from a strong kid’s password, it’s important to advise your little ones not to use public Wi-Fi networks.
On the other hand, you can look into acquiring a valuable VPN. Contrary to other technologies, Virtual Private Networks take Internet privacy seriously and therefore offer encrypted data pathways via the network while hiding your IP address.
They protect email accounts and messages from other messenger services granting you the ability to put an extra layer of protection on your kid’s journey online.
Internet Safety Tips for Kids
● Don’t hand out personal information such as address and telephone numbers without your parents’ permission.
● Tell parents if anything online made you feel uncomfortable.
● Never go to meet someone you have “met” on the Internet without asking your parents first.
● Don’t give your passwords to anyone other than your parents.
● Consult with parents about the pictures and content you want to post online.
● Check with your parents before downloading or installing programs that can potentially harm the computer or other technologies and put your family at risk of cybercrime.
● Help your parents understand new technologies.
● Don’t buy anything online without your parent’s consent.
● Don’t send or respond to abusive messages and posts. But tell your parents if you had an encounter with such behavior online.
● Avoid posting personal information such as birthdays and last names when creating your screen name.
● Read the latest Internet safety articles and take your Internet activities seriously.
Being a parent is the most demanding and freighting job in the world. You want to be involved in their lives but not too controlling to the point of smothering and invading their privacy. Unfortunately, modern times are as risky as they are entertaining but there is always a way to assure your children stay safe.
[su_quote cite=”David Harley, IT security researcher, and consultant”]Teach them to trust their own judgment rather than rely entirely on technical solutions and conflicting ‘official’ information resources.[/su_quote]
Just follow these simple rules and educate your kids about the World Wide Web. Internet safety is the number one concern due to various cyber dangers. After all, although they might not understand that now, they will surely appreciate your teachings later on.