Back in the 80s and 90s, children played outside and occasionally watched television for entertainment. Nowadays, children play on their tablet, browse the web and connect with friends via Facebook and Instagram, game on the iPhone and Nintendo 3DS, and play multiplayer games on their Xbox or Playstation. In short, today’s children are saturated in technology.
While this increased prevalence in technology has many advantages, such as access to information and the ability to play games designed to make learning enjoyable, it also has risks one of which is the safety of children on the internet.
If you want to learn how to protect your child in the digital age, check out these five tips to help keep your child safe online.
How to Keep Your Child Safe Online
1. SET BOUNDARIES FOR USAGE
Today’s children are digital natives, which means they have grown up in a world where technology is abundant, Google is King, and Facebook is the main way of connecting with one-another.
It’s important, then, to establish boundaries for internet usage in order to ensure your child knows what appropriate and inappropriate behavior is.
Work as a team to decide what is okay and what is not okay when it comes to the type of websites to visit, the chat-rooms and forums that it is ok to visit, and the kinds of things your children can disclose online.
This way, they will feel as though they have played an active role in deciding how they use the internet, and understand what is expected of them.
2. PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET ARE STILL STRANGERS
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, and even multiplayer games are a great way to connect with people.
However, it is important to establish to and frequently remind your child that no matter how long they have been chatting to a ‘friend’ they have met online, they are still strangers.
3. HELP TO CREATE STRONG PASSWORDS
Children might not understand the benefits of having a strong password, Work with them on ideas and guidelines for setting passwords, such as:
- The password must always be at least 8 letters long
- Must include both letters and numbers
- Must include a capital letter
- Must not contain a username or easy-to-guess personal information
Of course, it is also essential to remind them not to share their password with anybody online or offline.
4. FOR TEENS : Information Around Cyber-criminals And Spyware
Teenagers can be difficult to deal with sometimes, but they also have a higher capacity to understand situations. Therefore, this is perhaps one of the best times to talk to your child about internet safety and security.
Talk to your teen about the various dangers that can befall them online, such as identity theft, scams, and malware, and provide them with solutions to keep them safe – for example, always checking that the URL is secure before they input sensitive information, and being wary of emails sent from unknown sources.
The more they know, the better equipped they will be to protect themselves and their information online.
5. USE SECURITY SOFTWARE
Of course, you can’t expect your child to know everything about staying safe online! One of the best ways to protect your child is to ensure your computer is protected from potential threats, and one of the best ways to do this is to install security and antivirus software.
Antivirus software, for example, offers protection from viruses, phishing, and malware plus, it also filters out offensive content. For added family security, security software such as McAfee Family Protection will ensure your children are kept safe while browsing the web.