6 Tips to Help Your Children Stay Safe Online
Some of the key facts regarding internet use indicate that the number of children accessing the internet and computer use is more than ten times as many compared to a decade ago. These numbers have seen a steady rise in the recent past following the many developments in technology.
With so many resourceful materials available on the internet, it is impossible to isolate anyone and this includes the children from the internet-driven world.
Internet Use Comes with Cyber Risks
That said, we cannot ignore the fact that online activities come with a fair share of associated risks. For your children, this ranges from accessing inappropriate content to becoming cyberbullying victims. Children are vulnerable and it is easy for them to become victims of online predators posing as fellow children.
As a parent, one of your primary responsibilities is to ensure your children's safety. So, how do you ensure that your children are safe as they go about their internet usage? We have compiled effective tips to help your children stay safe and teach them about responsible online behaviour.
Tips for Parents to Help Their Children Stay Safe
For many people, children’s internet safety is seen as a set of rules. Whichever way you perceive it, insist that the guidelines be followed firmly. That said, it’s worth noting that the rules alone will not get the job done. Work on building a broad conversation regarding internet use with your children.
A private conversation with the children will help you know when and how they have been using their devices.
Consider the six tips below to help your children stay safe online.
1. Teach Them about Keeping Their Privacy on Social Media
Start by teaching your children the appropriate safety guidelines that they must adhere to. For instance, they must refrain from sharing too much personal information on social media. Make your children understand the dangers of sharing photos online and allowing people they do not know befriend them or access their information.
You can keep reviewing these restrictions as your children get older and can understand these topics much better.
2. Make Use of Parental Controls
You can also enforce your children’s online safety by activating parental control settings. These are content censoring controls available on different devices and online platforms.
You can, for instance, enable parental controls on YouTube kids to limit the content that is accessible to your children through the service. This will keep the children from accessing inappropriate content or even sharing it with their peers.
3. Install a VPN on Your Kid's Device
Just as it is tempting for adults to take advantage of free public WIFI, the same applies to children.
Teach your children the dangers of unsecured Wi-Fi networks, including connections at school or public places. It is easy for hackers to lurk on these networks as it requires no authentication to establish a connection between their device and any unsecured devices on the same network.
This can be solved by using a VPN as it creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet, ensuring your privacy even when you are on a public network. Make sure your children understand the way a VPN works so that they ensure that their devices are connected whenever they are accessing the internet.
4. Bookmark the Recommended Sites for Easy Access
You can also bookmark your children’s recommended sites. Secondly, teach your children how to access them quickly. This will enable them quick access even in your absence. It will also save them the trouble of fresh internet searches which can land them in the hands of unsecured websites.
5. Teach Them How to Use Stronger Passwords
Many cybercriminals and bullies leverage on weak passwords which are easy to guess. As already mentioned, you should teach your children how to secure accounts with complex password combinations.
A good password should be easy for the child to remember but complex for an attacker to guess. Strong passwords contain a combination of numbers, alphabets and special characters.
They should avoid using one password across multiple accounts because this increases the risks in the event of a successful password crack.
6. Give Them Insights on How to Protect Their Finances Online
Nowadays, more parents choose to teach their children some basic financial concepts, like the wealth formula and habits of saving, from a young age.
However, we should not neglect the importance of good cybersecurity practices since e-commerce and online banking has been more popular.
Teach your children about some of the best practices to protect their finances online, such as setting secure passwords and being aware of unintentional in-app purchases.
To avoid having your children glued to their tablets, computers and other tech-devices all the time, get creative and come up with other social interactive activities and exercises like family walks, biking, picnics and so on.
While they are lost in this interactive segment, you can discuss a thing or two about their internet use experience or drop some words of caution.