The internet is an information hub. There is so much to learn and enjoy, making it an ideal place for children to spend time on. Unfortunately, the internet is also home to fake news and inappropriate content. Digital abuse and cyber-attacks also thrive on the internet.
Statistics indicate that at least 1 out of every 5 children who have access to internet usage has accessed inappropriate content such as pornography or been engaged by an online predator (often making sexual advances) at least once.
Despite the many challenges associated with the internet, we cannot deny that this is our current situation. No individual can fully isolate themselves from the internet of things.
So, how do you ensure that your child is safe from the dangers associated with the internet? This post highlights six tips that will help you protect your children from cyberstalkers, cyber bullies, online predators and any other dark aspect of the web.
6 tips to keep your children safe
Be part of your children’s online activities by exercising the following tips.
Enable parental controls
You may not always be present to monitor the content that your children are trying to access. However, you can still be in control of the available content by activating parental controls. These controls allow you to set internet search restrictions.
Any search that is not in line with the set limitations prompts your child to either input a password or to complete complex arithmetic or key in your parental access details.
Parental controls are available for many devices and on different platforms such as Youtube kids.
Teach them the importance of protecting their privacy on social media
Most children and teens have accounts on social media platforms and access them on a daily basis. However, they might not be aware of the risks. For example, if they expose too many details of their private life, hackers and online predators can leverage on the information to launch attacks.
Sit down with your children and explain to them the importance of maintaining a suitable level of privacy on their social media profiles. Acknowledge that they are allowed to share but they should adhere to the limits that you will agree on. For instance, they cannot disclose their location details, identification documents or upload any of their photos without your approval.
Show them how to set up stronger passwords
Setting stronger and complex passwords is an all-time hack to keep away cyber stalkers and other malicious criminals.
Teach your children that a strong password must be hard to guess. They should refrain from using their names, your names or any other password that can be easily linked to them. Help them create a strong and secure password containing letters, numbers and special characters.
Use a Virtual Private Network
Installing a VPN is also an effective way to protect your children from online predators who might be spying on your network. A VPN creates a secure and encrypted tunnel for all the internet traffic between your device and the internet. It also masks your IP address, keeping your physical location private from online predators who take pleasure in tracking kids down.
Some people also consider using a VPN router at home, where all connected devices can be protected.
Keep your children’s devices up-to-date
Always keep the operating system, applications and other user software on your children’s device up-to-date. To avoid missing out on important patches, enable automatic updates. Doing this ensures that you do not miss out on updates in case they come out when you are on a busy schedule.
Teach them about protecting their finances online
Topics such as saving, tax, or investing in the stock market, are complicated for children, but parents should start teaching them about financial management from a young age to prepare them for the future.
As every aspect of our life is taking a digital shift, finance and shopping are no exception. In this digitalized era, ensure your children know how to keep their money safe online. For instance, they should remember not to reveal their financial information online.
We are living in a cyber-centric world, we cannot isolate ourselves or our children from it. We can, however, create an environment that allows us to share as much as is necessary to help them avoid the risks associated with internet use.
There is so much power in teaching, take your kid’s through the basic guidelines of online security and appreciate the milestones they make in the learning process.