Internet Safety of Children is very essential nowadays. The lifestyle of children and young people has changed dramatically and they tend to use the Internet for a longer time than the usual.
Identity in terms of online and offline affects your life a lot. In offline identity, you and your friends, family, colleagues know your names and details. But online identity is who you are in cyberspace.
Online identity is how you present yourself to others. This online identity should reveal a limited amount of information about you.
You should be careful when choosing your user name. In the username, you should not add any personal information about you. It should not give way for hackers. Cybercriminals should not think that you are easily approachable.
Security measures are needed for the Individual, family and the organization.
Especially during this pandemic season(COVID-19), as schools and colleges have been closed, children have no other go but be online all the time. Cyber Safety should take care of the kids.
That way, the Internet is being helpful for children. They can talk to their teachers, friends, and research school/colleges assignments and play interactive games.
But unfortunately, the same Internet that provides ample functionalities for E-learning and to connect with friends can also bring more risks.
What are the possible Risks?
Risks can be in the form of inappropriate content and online cybercriminals. As the online predators are very tricky, they may pose as a kid or a teenager or a student through the Apps the kids mostly use.
There, they poke the students to share their personal information such as phone number and house address. They may even encourage the children to call their phone numbers so that they can easily catch up the kids’ phone numbers through caller IDs. Hence, it’s imperative that Internet safety for students is important. Internet safety for elementary students is also important too.
How to help children with Internet Safety?
One way of helping kids with Internet safety is using parental control software, content management Apps, Internet filters or monitoring software.
This creates a boundary to children from reading wrong contents and decreases temptations.
Let’s see some of the tips for parental supervision. Moreover, Internet safety for parents is also needed to be considered.
Basic tips for parental supervision
- Better place the kid’s computer in the common room where parents also can use and monitor. Don’t keep it in the Individual bedroom where you can’t monitor.
- Observe the time spent on smartphones.
- Spend time with your children online together and teach good behaviours of using the Internet.
- Check the history files on the computer, and monitor the sites your children regularly access.
- Monitor your credit card transactions and phone bills for unusual charges.
- check whether the online security is existing in your child’s school, coaching center, friends’ homes, or any place where children could use a computer without your control.
- Encourage children to share with you if they face any cyberbullying. Listen carefully and don’t fault your children, because they will hesitate to share the next time if they face anything uncomfortable.
- Create a Google account for your children and supervise the installation of Apps on their devices.
- Tell them what games they can play.
- If your children watch YouTube videos, you can download YouTube Kids App. This App allows you to regulate the total time spent on YouTube.
- You can block unwanted videos and channels on YouTube.
- You can save the video history the child had watched.
Hence, these are the major guidelines parents can follow. Next, we will see some of the major guidelines about how to talk to your children about Internet safety.
Basic Internet Safety tips to share with your children
- Edify yourself first, then talk to your children about Internet safety.
- Establish family rules based on those set by the Internet service provider.
- Secure Online Habits – Talk to your children about safe online activities. Make them understand the risk of technology and how they may become responsible for that. Make sure that they have knowledge about cyberbullies.
- Talk to them freely about Cybercrime – Parents should have knowledge of the children’s daily online activities. You are the one to create an environment comfortable for them to share freely if they are being victimized.
- Act early – Try to identify the cause immediately once you notice changes in the child’s behaviour. If cyberbullying is involved, take necessary actions at once to avoid serious damages.
- Limit their Contacts – Advise them not to share personal information with all their friends.
- Avoid escalating the situation.
- Advise them not to agree to meet with anyone in person whom they had met online, without parents’ permission.
- Tell them never to respond to unknown E-Mails, WhatsApp messages, Telegram messages or any other text.
- Instruct them not to post-trade or personal pictures.
- Make a plan to have a systematic conversation.
Therefore, Teach your children about the Internet and its advantages and disadvantages. Ensure that they feel comfortable to communicate with you if they experience any kind of online harassment, bullying or stalking.
Parents should report cyberbullying to the respective authorities. If the child is being harassed or threatened, give alert to the local police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Cautionary signs noticed by parents in Internet Safety for Kids
The following are the cautionary signs to be watched by parents,
- Spending extensive hours online, mainly late at nights.
- Gifts arriving from people you don’t know.
- Children switching off their computers at once you enter their area.
- Phone calls from people you don’t know.
- Your children reducing the usual communication with relatives and people at home.
Be optimistic but also open about everything you are anxious about.
You can say, “I guess this App / Site certainly is good” if it’s good. Otherwise, you should be able to say, “I am a little nervous about things I am seeing here.”
Talk to your children softly, but firmly.
Hence, taking a dynamic part in your children’s Internet activities confirms that they benefit from them without being affected by the likely threats.
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