12 Dec Internet Safety: How To Keep Your Child Safe Online
Internet Safety: How To Keep Your Child Safe Online
Does internet safety for kids require band-aids, anti-septic solutions, allergy meds, helmets, and knee pads? A BIG NO.
As most children are likely to spend a lot of their time online on the internet. We’re sure they love playing games & watching fun videos that make their day enjoyable. However, as parents, it’s our responsibility to make sure that your little one is safe up there. Protecting them from internet safety risks & guiding them to adopt a sincere online behavior is a must. Innocent online searches can lead to negative results at times. Educating your child prior to such actions will inform them what’s correct & what’s incorrect.
We at Tickle Right aim to foster a holistic brain development approach in children. This helps them guide themselves in making important decisions in life.
Online Safety Tools For Children
As a parent, your child’s safety is always your #1 priority. The first aid kit is stocked to the brim at all times. However, are you equipped to protect your child from the terrors that lurk behind a screen? A survey done by Uninor in schools across seven states in India indicates that 30 percent of Indian children accessing the Internet have experienced some kind of cyber harm. This includes cyberbullying, cyberstalking, hacking, and defamation.
The younger your child, the more susceptible he is to the dangers of the Internet. A cyber predator could be right around the corner and you would have no idea if you haven’t paid attention to your child’s online activities.
Most Common Dangers Children Face Online
The following are the most common dangers children face online in the modern-day technology-driven era:
Social media and online games are today’s virtual playground, and that is where most cyberbullying takes place. E.g. – receiving/posting hurtful comments on social media posts. While you do your best to protect your child from cyberbullying, you must ensure your child doesn’t engage in the same.
2. Cyber Predators
Sexual and other predators can stalk children online, exploit their innocence, abuse their trust, and in unfortunate cases, lure them into very dangerous personal encounters.
3. Posting Private Information
Since children are at a very tender age, they do not fully grasp the concept of social boundaries. They can foolishly post personal details online, right from social security numbers to home addresses. They do not realize that even a seemingly harmless location tag can be heavily misused by online miscreants.
Phishing refers to the use of emails that try to trick people into clicking on malicious links or attachments. The cybercriminals who devise these emails observe sites that are popular with children and gather information such as email addresses and friends’ names to use in their scams. ( E.g. – It may offer your child a ‘ prize ‘ in exchange for your credit card details). Therefore, you must teach your children to be wary of emails from strangers from a young age.
5. Undesirable Posts
While children are at risk of being exposed to gruesome content ( both violent and sexual ) , they could also be haunted by their own posts. Anything you put on the Internet stays there forever. What they believe is amusing today could be embarrassing tomorrow. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
These virtual hazards are just as powerful as real ones. Countless teens have been driven to suicide by cyberbullies. The surviving victims of these dangers must’ve experienced unimaginable physical, psychological, and financial trauma.
Internet Safety Tips To Keep Your Child Safe Online
The following tips will help your child adopt healthy behavior against internet safety risks.
1. Communicate Openly
As soon as your child is old enough to access the Internet, talk to him about what type of content he’s consuming, who he’s talking to – and continue this conversation as he grows older. Healthy discourse is vital for keeping your kids safe online. At all times, let them know it’s okay to make mistakes and that you’ll be there for them no matter what. Your child must trust you for him to tell you about any unsavory online experiences. If your child is being bullied online, you might detect changes in his behavior in real life. Please pay heed to these signals before the damage becomes irreparable. It’s also critical to teach them about their online reputation and how they must be careful about how they behave, interact with people and represent themselves in such a public forum. They must always remember that the internet isn’t private.
2. Keep Screens & Devices Where You Can See Them
The computer should preferably be placed in a central location in your home so you can keep an eye on your children when they use it. For mobile devices, you can set them to forget Wi-Fi passcodes. This way, you’ll know they’re going online when they ask you for the password. You may also enforce a ‘ no devices in the bedroom’ policy. For younger children, you might want to check their browser histories so you’re aware of the content they’re viewing.
3. Parental Controls
Several browsers, applications, devices, and Internet Service Providers offer parental controls. For example, the SafeSearch Filters feature on Google will block sites with explicit sexual material. Although not 100 percent accurate, parental controls can help prevent your child from seeing and accessing the most violent or sexual material. While most parental controls are offered for free, paid security options are also available.
4. Know Your Children’s Online Friends
Children and young people can be alarming naïve about who they are chatting with if they are not taught to be cyber-wise from an early age. Thus, you should monitor who your child is talking to. If it’s a school friend or a neighbor, it’s probably alright. If it’s a stranger who insists on meeting them? Red flag!
Encourage your children to keep their accounts private. Enlighten them about the threats posed by revealing personal details, locations, and intimate photos online. Before they post something, they should ask themselves if they would share those details with a stranger. If the answer is no, they probably shouldn’t post it.
6. Lead By Example
Be an ideal role model by being mindful of your own online activities. Consequently, your children will emulate the positive behavior. Ultimately, your unflinching desire to protect your little ones from masked predators online shouldn’t hamper their experience. They must explore the social, educational, and entertaining sides of the Internet on their own. After teaching them the basics ( i.e. reporting inappropriate behavior, blocking someone, and keeping information private), you have to trust them to be careful and respectable netizens.