Ways to Keep Your Child Safe While Using the Internet
- Dec 16, 2015
Kids feel at home with the digital world. They are quick to grasp any tough concept that technology comes up with. In fact, they are quite adept at the basic tasks that can be done with a smartphone, computer, iPad and other such devices. In fact, many kids become quite good at handling digital devices before they can even read or write. With such heights of digital adeptness at their fingertips, they are no longer strangers to the online world.
The Internet is an alluring cyber space since it opens up the entire world at the click of a mouse. There's a lot to learn from the Internet. The Internet can answer pretty much anything, serve up breathtaking videos, open up the world of social interactions, provide plenty of games to kill time and so much more. The possibilities are endless.
As magical a tool the Internet is, it is not a completely safe place. Since kids spend a lot of time on the Internet, it could be dangerous for them if they are not aware of the online threats. Therefore, you need to take certain precautions to make sure that your kid is safe while using the Internet. Following are a few tips that you can employ. Read on to find out more.
Have a Discussion About Online Safety
With the Internet turning out to be the online playground for kids, awareness is of utmost importance. You can have a discussion with your child about a few guidelines that he can follow when online. These could include what not to share on the Internet, for example, personal information, photos and so on. Additionally, you can talk to them about hackers and how they can be a threat in the online world.
Strangers bearing gifts could also have malicious intent. You should advise your children against opening such emails, messages or invitations. Warning your child against viruses is important since these look quite innocent at first glance, but can quickly turn out to be a threat if overlooked.
Keep an Eye on Your Child's Online Activities
It is a no-brainer that your child would take some time to differentiate between a safe and an unsafe practice on the Internet since he is just starting out. At this stage, it is your duty to monitor his online activities closely. Yes, it could seem like an endless task to accompany your child through his explorations on the Internet, but it is going to save your kid a lot of troubles and educate him about good practices along the way.
By the time he understands safe online behavior, you would no longer need to co-captain the ship with him. Even if your kid follows the right rules, there are chances that he could fall prey to online threats. So you would need to keep a close watch even when the days of being a co-captain are over.
The following video demonstrates a few tips that you can follow to keep your child safe online.
Learn About the Devices Your Kid Uses
Every device has smart features and you would be surprised at all the functions that the devices can perform. Even the gaming consoles and e-book readers support Internet activities. Things have evolved massively from the video games of our childhood into futuristic games of the present day. And these features appeal to kids immensely. But the bad news is, there could be suspicious activities lurking behind the online activities these devices provide scope for.
It is always advisable to learn about a device before handing it to your kid. Find out what the devices can do, apart from what they are supposed to do. Some gaming consoles even support video calling feature. Once you gift those to your kid, keep a close watch on the activities to make sure that he doesn't become the victim of any cybercrime.
Set Some Ground Rules
There are numerous websites on the Internet. It is impossible to keep a track of the ones your kid visits, among those. What you can do is set some ground rules to ensure your child's online safety. Here are a few things you can do:
- Opt for parental control: You can opt for parental control tools to restrict your child from visiting websites that could be malicious. For this, you can adjust the settings of the computer or any device that your kid uses. You can also talk with your Internet service provider to find out more about these tools.
- Restrict Internet time: In addition to that, you can also restrict the time your kid spends on the Internet by specifying a maximum duration. If his Internet time extends beyond the limit, you can deduct the extra time from his next session. Restricted time will automatically reduce chances of becoming a victim of online threat.
- Permission to access certain websites: You can also list out the sites that are safe to use. If he requires to visit another site that is not included in the list, he can always ask for permission.
Become Friends with Your Kid on Social Media
Social media sites could turn out to be quite harmful if not managed appropriately. Even though you are sure that your kid knows how to play safe online, with the rising severity of the problems that are surfacing in the online world, you can never be too sure. So it is important to get involved with your kid's use of social media. Being friends with your child on social media is a good way to start. This way, any inappropriate behavior would immediately come to your attention before it materializes into a threat.
That being said, we recommend you to take a backseat in your kid's activities on social media. For example, you can refrain from commenting on posts unless he wants you to. This would give him the space he requires while letting you be a part of his activities.
These tips are the basic ones that you can follow. You can build a few of your own around them according to what you deem fit for your child. You can also keep updating him about anything new regarding online safety that you come across.
Would you like to add any other tips to this list? Share those with us in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
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