Tips for keeping kids safe online
We all know how expansive and brilliant the online world has become. The Internet offers something for everybody. People are able to explore their interests to a richer depth and become a part of social communities. For kids, it offers a place to chat with friends, expand their knowledge, and seek out creative avenues! However, the Internet also has a darker side where your child’s best interests are not always in mind. Use these helpful tips to keep your children safe from disturbing content, malware, online predators, and other malicious activity.
Limit Usage and Block Harmful Sites
The most important element to any person’s online protection is good security software such as Xplornet Internet Security Suite, Norton, or McAfee. Xplornet Security Suite offers parental controls to limit the type of content that can be viewed online. It can also prevent specific actions such as downloads of potentially dangerous malware, viruses, or other harmful material.
Wireless routers can also be configured to block specific website content and limit online usage to required examples. If you do decide to limit usage, try to stick to the rules you have set out.
Be a Role Model
Whether you are aware of it or not, your child is always observing you. You can often find them mimicking your actions and following your behaviours. This is why you should consider following a higher and safer standard online for your child. See if you can limit your own usage around them. When you are online, try sharing with them what you are doing and how you are being respectful and staying safe while browsing. Browsing together will help your child form healthy habits and learn how to conduct themselves. And it can be fun! Ultimately, you are setting the example on how to be responsible online.
Teach Proper Online Etiquette
The saying, “Don’t talk to strangers” also applies to the online world. With your help, your child should understand that sometimes people will lie about who they are online. It’s best practice for your child to keep their personal information private, even if they think they know who they are talking to. That means their name, photos, home address, the school they go to, and their phone number should never be revealed to anyone online. Help keep their information from being hacked by demonstrating how to create strong passwords with numbers and phrases.
Check Up on What your Child is Doing Online
See if you can keep the computer or tablet in a common area of the home to help you monitor your child’s browsing activity and make sure they are staying safe. Some experts say it’s best and safest to not allow a child to take any connected devices to bed with them.
Although it is important to allow your kid to have some privacy, consider checking their browser history to ensure they are staying off potentially dangerous sites. Be careful to respect their privacy or your child might lose their trust in you and begin to hide things.
If you suspect that your child is being preyed upon, contact the police immediately. Do not use the computer or affected device in case there is crucial evidence on it for a potential investigation.