A study reveals that almost half of children between 8 and 16 are online all day, that’s more than enough time frame to make you concerned and involved about your children’s safety online.
As a parent, teacher or guardian, how can you keep your kids protected from the many traps that await users in cyberspace? Consider these basic tips for keeping your kids safe online.
Teach them about cybersecurity early on:
Explaining Cybersecurity to kids is one very important step in helping to keep them safe online and will help make your job easier as well because whether you like it or not, the kids need to understand why there are restrictions and monitoring.
Simply put cybersecurity is stopping the bad guys from having access to your online home and taking what belongs to you like your information and using it for bad things like threatening you or stealing all your money.
What are the risks?
- Cyberbullying is bullying that happens online. It can happen in an email, a text message, an app, an online game, or on a social networking site.
- Phishing/Identity Theft is when a scam artist sends a text, email, or pop-up message in a browser to get people to share their personal information. They can then use that information to commit identity theft.
- Sexting is the sending or forwarding of sexually explicit photos, videos, or messages from a mobile phone. In addition to risking their reputations, friendships, and safety, this could be an illegal activity.
- Social Networking can help kids connect with family and friends, but it can invite danger if not used appropriately. Sharing too much information, posting pictures, videos or words can damage their reputation, hurt someone else, or invite a predator to contact the user. Once something is online, it may not easily be removed. Oversharing may be leveraged by online criminals to facilitate identity theft.
What can you do?
- Start at an early age! As soon as children can use a computing device, it is time to talk to them about using it safely. Parents and family have the best opportunity to teach children!
- Know what your kids are doing. Consider having a common area in the house for the family to do online activities, where children can feel independent, but not alone.
- Keep an open and honest environment. Let your children know they can come to you with any concerns or questions about their online experience.
- Protect your children’s information. Don’t over-share information about your children, and teach them this principle.
- Respond appropriately to cyberbullying. Tell children to ignore or block bullies, unless it becomes threatening. Report abuse to the website where it is taking place, or if you fear for your child’s safety, report it to the authorities.
- Configure the security and privacy features on devices. Change default settings on your devices and enable security features like strong passwords, auto-updates, etc.
- Keep all your computers and mobile computing devices up to date with the latest security patches and anti-malware software.
- Consider installing or enabling parental controls on devices.
- Teach kids to be cautious of suspicious messages.
The world -physical and virtual can be a safer place for our kids with just a little more attention and care.
kindly share in the comment section if you have more tips to share.