The current age of technology means that your child likely spends a lot of time on the internet. Whether they’re using it for school or to connect with friends, kids utilize multiple devices for online activity. This may provide a challenge to your parenting because the more time your child spends online, the more vulnerable they are to potential dangers. Computer hackers are constantly brainstorming ways to harm people by gaining access to sensitive information. Here are a few tips to teach your child to ensure that they stay safe while they surf the web.
Explain the Risks
Talk to your child about the importance of safe computer usage. Teach them about the information that computer hackers are targeting. Explain some strategies hackers use to harm internet users such as malware, scams, and identity theft. Cyberbullying is a major issue among kids, so it’s recommended that you provide multiple examples demonstrating the harmful effects of cyberbullying.
Information About Stranger Danger
68% of U.S. adults say that they use Facebook to interact with others, and many children enjoy using it as well. Unfortunately, there are a lot of predators on this site. Your child should avoid interacting with anyone on social media who they don’t know. Predators enjoy preying on vulnerable young children. Teaching your child about the potential risks of chatting with a stranger will help them make better decisions when they’re online.
Install Parental Controls
Installing parental controls allows you to monitor your child’s online activity. Installing guidelines on different apps and internet browser is relatively easy. If you want to take an extra step, there’s free parental control software that you can download and install on different devices.
Make Sure Your Child Has Strong Passwords
Once computer hackers gain control of your passwords, you’re at their mercy. Choosing unique passwords for every site or app that your child uses is essential. Strong passwords prevent hackers from causing damage. A common problem among online users is that they use the same password in multiple places or their password is easy to guess. Teach your child to create a unique password with different numbers, symbols, and letter combinations.
Protect Their Identity
With the higher amount of internet usage, identity theft cases continue to rise. Make sure that your child doesn’t put any of their personal information online. Some computer hackers believe that obtaining a child’s identity may be more valuable than an adult. Many computer hackers have scammed children in the past and received their social security numbers. Even inputting information such as your child’s date of birth and address can be harmful. Teach your child about the importance of not disclosing any information.
Update All Apps
One of the most effective parenting techniques against potential online attacks is to make sure that all the software that your child uses is up-to-date. Research shows that about 50% of mobile phone users rely on their phones as their primary internet sources. While staying on a constant update schedule for multiple apps can be stressful, it could prevent a disaster from occurring in the long run. The top software companies include new security algorithms in every update, which is why staying up to date is so important.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi
There are multiple risks involved with using a public Wi-Fi network to search the internet. Public networks are considerably less secure than private ones. Computer hackers believe that public networks are an easy attacking point. They use public networks to corrupt data on high-traffic search engines. Try to set up a Virtual Private Network if you are forced to use public Wi-Fi.
Teach Them to Find Reliable Sources
A recent study noted that approximately 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, which is a substantial increase from the previous year. This demonstrates the importance of finding accurate information online. Teach your child how to distinguish reliable sources from scams.
Technology is an important part of daily life. These tips will help you protect your child while they engage in online activities.