Most parents agree that keeping kids safe online is a priority. Unfortunately, while most parents do worry about their kid’s safety online, they just don’t know where to start to ensure that their kids stay safe. Here are five tips that will help you keep your kids safe online.
Start With Modeling The Behavior You Want
One of the ways you can teach your kids about being safe online is by modeling the behavior you want them to follow. When you see something that could be a threat, point it out to your kids. For example, if you notice that someone has posted their home address in a marketplace ad or someone has posted their phone number, remark how dangerous it is to do that.
Keep your own information private online. Make your social media accounts private. Talk to your kids about why you keep your information private. Age-appropriate conversations about identity theft and real-life risks of online activities are important and can help to plant the seed to keep your child safe online.
Learn All You Can
Another thing that you can and should do, is become familiar with all the social platforms and how they work. Kids are usually the first to know about new apps and social platforms, and parents are often left behind in the dust. If you are not a big user, you may be missing out on a few things that you shouldn’t miss out on. You may not know that a blockchain is an open-source code for Bitcoin and about 6,000 other cryptocurrencies, or that there are underground groups on places like Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms that have some unsavory characters lurking. Learn everything that you can about the platforms that your kids are using to better understand the risks.
Encourage Your Kids To Seek Your Advice
Malware, spyware, viruses, and more can wreak havoc on your home network. About one out of three homes that have connected devices will suffer from a malicious software attack. Many times, it’s the users in the home that open the door unknowingly to these attacks. Speak to your kids about coming to you if they get a strange message, blue screen, or something else pops up on their tablet, gaming station, or laptop. Kids will often click without thinking or because they are afraid they will get in trouble if they seek assistance. Make sure your children know that they will not get in trouble if there is a problem with their devices.
Limit the Time Kids Can Be Online
The longer a child is online the more possibility that their safety will be at risk. Limit the amount of time that your child can be online. Set those parameters not just for how long but what time of day they can be online. It will be a lot easier for you to monitor what is happening when they are online if the time frame is limited. Additionally, it is better for the child not to be completely dependent on the virtual world. As a bonus, you will get to conserve some energy and do something nice for the planet. Did you know that Google is the largest consumer of energy around the world? Google’s power consumption could provide energy to over 200,000 homes. Staying offline for a while can help to conserve energy across the board and keep your kids safe.
Keep Devices That Are Connected Separate
A lot of children have tablets, laptops, game stations, and phones that are all connected online. It can be daunting to keep up with it all. There is a lot of redundancy, which can increase the risk factor. Set up different accounts and passwords for each device. This way, if something happens with one device, it does not transfer over to all the devices.
Finally, talk to your kids. Be honest about what the risks are, and make the time to monitor their activity. Investing in software can make it easier to monitor what children are doing online. Don’t be afraid to ban your child from the internet until they are old enough to understand the risks.