Keep your Child Safe Online
Technology has advanced to a stage where there is no way you can stop your child from using the internet. Online is a boon, but on the other hand, this can also be a curse if you do not take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your kids.
Before listing out the tips to ensure the safety of kids online, you need to be aware of the many dangers lurking out there.
Dangers on the Internet
- Contact with undesirable individuals.
Cyberbullies: there is a possibility that your child is the target of the online bullies and does everything to conceal this. This can harm the mental state of the child, if not physical.
Predators: Predators are found in gaming rooms and also on various platforms of the social media.
Phishing Scammers: They have the knack of tricking your kid for information that might be about you or the child. This can lead to a big loss.
Malware infections: This helps another individual get access of your child’s computer. This can happen with a P2P (Peer to Peer) file, attachments or even web links.
Un-wanted Advertising, adware programs and pop-ups: These are automatically installed when the shareware or the freeware programs are downloaded. These can also have spyware.
Graphic or violent content: like assault acts
Sexually explicit content: Pornography videos or images.
Downloads of material: For example, pirated video or music files.
Content that is in-appropriate or obscene: alcohol or drug abuse or foul language
Keeping a Child Safe Online
With multiple dangers out there in the world of web and no limits how much of the internet a child can use, it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure their safety. Listed below are few tips that can help you in doing so.
Using Technology for Protection
It is important that you ensure that the device used by your child is running on software that is the latest, along with anti-virus programs. You need to ensure that the privacy settings are on.
When the computer is not being used, you need to cover the webcam. For young children, safe search, parental control, can lead to positive experiences online.
Be aware of the resources that are free, even if these are educational. Your child need not provide the full name or even share a photograph for using the resources. Checking the privacy settings can minimize the collection of data. Teach your child to keep personal information safe without sharing this with strangers.
Safety with Open Communication
You need to interact with your child and explain how and who to communicate with online. It is important to explain to them that mean and inappropriate and discriminatory interaction is not acceptable. On the other hand, supportive and kind communication is always welcome. You need to explain to your child that if they experience any content that even seems inappropriate, it is important that they tell you or any other adult who can be trusted.
When a child becomes secretive or appears to be upset, you need to be alert and try to find out the reason behind this. Make sure there are rules on how, when and where your child can use their device.
Spending Time Online with Kids
It is important for creating different opportunities so that your child can have positive and safe interactions with family, friends and also you.
You need to help your child in finding out how they can find out if news on social media is genuine or fake.
Give your Child Respect and Trust
It is important that kids learn to make their own choices, but at the same time, safety is of paramount importance. This cannot be accomplished with oppressive control. This can only increase their rebellion.
Parents will be facing a war on two fronts
- Acknowledging independence of their child
- Limiting access to the internet
To ensure you do not lose the battle, you need to respect technologies of online control and the ability of your child to counteract security measures that are weak.
As known, present times, kids are born with phones and tablets and are comfortable with using the internet. This might not be so with the adults. This comfort can lead to risks that you are not prepared for.
The bottom line here is respecting your child and also ensuring online parental control. This online safety for a child starts with powerful and adjustable parental control. This needs to be backed with solid software for virus protection. This only works well if there is enough respect for your child.
- Anything Shared Online is forever
It is important that your child understands that any information shared online is ‘forever’ even if you have not shared this to the public. The internet framework is such that nothing can be permanently deleted. You will always find artifacts of the data.
How to talk to your Children
It is important that you have a talk with your child before they start using the internet. The threats need to be explained in a manner in which this can be easily understood by your child.
It is also important to ensure you set a schedule for online time. Another important point is asking your child to talk with you before they share any information online. They need to confide in you if they find something that scares them or upsets them.
Explain to your child how you will be monitoring their online use and the reason for doing so. There is a possibility that even a teenager does not understand the online risks totally.
You can teach a grown-up child how to set the privacy settings and how to be safe.
Set guidelines on what your child can do or cannot do when online. These guidelines can clarify whether your child is allowed to join social networking sites, use the programs of instant messaging, make purchases online, download music’s and videos or visit the chat rooms on the internet.