Internet Safety Tips for School-Aged Kids
Over the years the internet has transformed into an indispensable tool in homes, schools and the world in general. In reality, it has a lot of loopholes and dangers which you should be wary of, especially as a parent. Without the adequate control and monitoring, the internet poses a significant threat to children. It is full of phishing scams, identity thefts, pornography, romance scams, and malicious content. They can be harmful to your child’s emotional and physical well-being. Luckily, with some tips, you can make the internet safe and secure for your kids.
Always monitor your children’s online activity. You should only permit internet access in familiar places within your home where you can see what they do online. Also, you can always check the browser history to keep track or install a filter on your computer to ward off malicious ads and limit access to specific websites.
Kids are observant. They tend to imitate what goes on within their environment. It is essential to make yourself worthy of emulation through your online activities. You should be your child’s “go-to person” if they run into any issue online or have questions about the internet.
From an early stage, it is advisable to talk to your kids about the good, bad, and ugly side of the internet. If your child can download an app or live stream audio and video content without your help, then it’s not too early to explain the basics of cybersecurity and internet privacy.
You can save a link to a desktop or bookmark your child’s favorite websites so that they’re only a click away. This action ensures that your kids won’t stumble upon the wrong site or content due to a typographical error.
Installing internet protection software like a VPN on your home router ensures that your child’s online activity is secured. What is a VPN? A Virtual Private Network is an encrypted online pathway between two devices that guarantees private and secure access to websites. While connected to a VPN, no one can see or gain control of your information. A VPN makes it impossible for hackers or snoopers to steal personal information.
A VPN doesn’t merely keep you anonymous. Some VPN also block suspicious websites and cloud your IP address/location.
Eventually, when your child wants a social account, it is vital to educate them about password security. Together, you can create a formidable and unique password that prevents unwanted access from either hackers or snoopers. Passwords should not be written down; keeping them in memory or in a password manager is the best way to keep your accounts secure.
Creating Secure Passwords 101
- It should contain at least eight characters including numbers, special symbols, lowercase & uppercase letters.
- Create different passwords for different accounts.
- A password should never provide personal information like names of your children, pets, family, and friends, or birth dates
- Passwords are better if they aren’t actual words.
Similar to offline bullying, cyberbullying is a potential risk that can affect your child online. Cyberbullying could range from random chat room insults to online stalking, online threats, and coercion.
As a parent, it is vital to educate your child about cyberbullying and how to avoid it. You have to educate your kids on how to recognize cyber bullies as well as types of cyberbullying.
Warn your children against conversing with shady accounts or individuals. These days, online criminals hide behind catfish accounts to groom relationships with unsuspecting victims and later abuse them. By having a detailed conversation with your child about the dangers of online criminals, you should be able to gain your child’s trust and confidence. And your kid will know what dangers they need to avoid.
At all times, your child should know better than sharing their personal information with any stranger online. They should never give out their name, home address, phone numbers, passwords and other vital details.
Your child’s online safety is your responsibility. And that duty never ends. These tips and effective communication with your child can ensure that they are secure online. The key is to build and maintain a positive relationship with your child, so they can be confident in sharing whatever is going on in their lives with you.