As parents, you generally do everything you can to keep your children safe and well. But what are you doing about their online safety? Children are using technology and internet-connected devices at younger ages than ever. Unfortunately, the risks and dangers associated with being online will not wait just because they are young.
The most common threats children face online include cyberbullying, cyber predators, sharing personal information and falling for online scams, etc. Therefore, it is unsafe to allow children unsupervised access to the internet. And as children grow and develop, they continue to need support and guidance around keeping safe online.
However, internet safety for kids depends on parents being aware of online risks and understanding how to help their children avoid them. With this view, Lakshya, one of the best schools in Kakinada highlights some tips below to protect children from digital threats.
7 Ways to Keep your child safe while on the internet
Here are the most actionable tips you should apply to protect your children from dangers when navigating online.
Setting up parental control software
It is difficult for parents to supervise their children every time they are online. Parental control apps and internet filters are a great way to track and control your child’s online behaviour. These softwares help better monitor your chid’s internet usage, keep the track of visited sites, block malicious websites and control interconnection time, and report any unusual online activity.
Keep the computer in an open area
Make sure you keep the screens and devices in a place where it’s easy to monitor what your child is doing and viewing online. This accessibility to the internet deter your children from doing something they know but not allowed to do. It also allows you to intervene if you notice unusual behaviour that could have negative consequences on your child.
Set rules and usage limits
Make sure your child is aware of the boundaries of what they are allowed to do on the internet. These boundaries should be appropriate for their age, knowledge, and maturity. Set a specific time limit on their internet usage and warn them about the sites they can visit, softwares they can use, and activities they are allowed to do.
Know their passwords
Knowing your child’s password is an important factor while protecting them online threats. So, be upfront with your children that you will need their passwords for all their devices as well as for all of their social media sites. Once you get their password, keep checking the sites they visited, and see what kind of information they are posting.
Know who are they are talking to
If your children are old enough to talk to people online, then know who those people are. If they are friends, relatives, or neighbour’s kids, it is probably fine. But, someone who could be pretending to be a friend to your child may be a danger. Train your child and allow them to communicate online in a safe environment.
Teach them to protect their privacy
Children may not understand the consequences of revealing their personal information online. It can be a dangerous practice for victims of harassment, burglary, or people with other privacy concerns. Therefore, make sure your children know never to share their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal address, or picture without your permission.
Tune-up your search engine
Your search engine can be pressed into service for free, but children with practical knowledge could switch the settings back. When you set the restrictions, Google will block all the sites with inappropriate or explicit content. AltaVista puts several types of offensive content off-limits with its family filter set up to help monitor your child’s activities.
While these are some precautionary steps to prevent young minds from the dark side of the internet, there is always a fear of falling into this trap. Hence, Lakshya International School, Kakinada recommends always have an open conversation with your child about cyber threats.