How to keep kids safe online | 6 safety tips for kids
Internet access is available to children all around the globe. It can be a positive thing and also dangerous. Because most children are naive, innocent and gullible, most parents ask themselves how they can keep their kids safe while they are online.
Many children today are exposed to computers at a very early age. Mothers and fathers may not even be aware of the online dangers and how to avoid them.
There is much good to be found online. Children can learn new skills, stay in contact with family and friends, play educational video games, research for their homework, and share their fun photos. But, there is also danger lurking on some sites, ads, and in surprising places.
When sharing photos reaches people beyond family and friends, it can be very risky.
Internet safety for kids depends on parents educating their children about the dangers of online predators and hackers. The best things parents can do is educate themselves about what their children are doing online and be tech wise enough to make it safer for their children.
Safety tips for child safety online
Suggestions for parents:
- Make sure that the site starts with https. The “s” at the end stands for “secure”.
- Parents should learn how to use the privacy settings on all browsers and opt-out buttons to limit how much information is being shared.
- Limit the location shared on the computer by turning off GPS settings. Doing so will limit targeted ads and keep kid’s location private.
General safety tips for kids:
- Do not ever give out personal information online. This includes sharing your full name, address, phone number or other personal information, including what school they attend.
- Only give your passwords to your parents. Other than that, passwords should be kept private. A password should be complex enough that no one can guess it. Use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols to make them harder to guess. Write them down and keep them in a safe place that you will remember.
- Be sure to ask permission from your parents if you want to download anything. It may cost money, or you may download a virus which could damage your computer. Tell your parents if you receive any strange or questionable message.
Communicating is Key
By keeping the lines of communication open with your children, they will trust you with anything unusual that they may find online. Teach your kids not to use the internet to bully other kids, post selfies, watch silly movies, or wasting valuable time that could be spent better elsewhere.
It would be best to sit down with your children and decide on rules for their internet usage. It is suggested that children only use the internet two hours a day. You can suggest that if they want more time online than that, they can earn it by doing chores, exercising, keeping their room clean and other attractive incentives.
Teach kids to click carefully. Tell them to watch out for any extra links, free giveaways, or surveys and warn them not to click on them. Many of these ask for personal information and kids cannot afford to share even a little information about themselves.
Beware of YouTube
One place kids like to hang out is on youtube.com watching or posting videos. Young YouTubers should be aware of the guidelines to keep them safe. Parents should be tech savvy enough to read the guidelines of YouTube for themselves before letting children have any access to it. If children want to start their own channel, they should be aware of what they can and can’t post. Posts including any nudity, violence, threats and borrowed copyrighted material are not allowed.
Parents can adjust the privacy settings on YouTube. It may not be in your child’s best interest to have their videos shared with the “public”. It is best to set them as “private”. Then, they can send a shared link to the exact people they want to see it. You can help your children moderate comments by checking “Don’t display until approved”. Then you can monitor what they are posting and any comments they are receiving. You can also choose not to receive any comments at all. Block and report cyberbullies. If your child is being harassed on YouTube, you can block that user and report them to stop any further communication from them.
Write Down The Rules
It would be best to write down the rules for your children and post them where they can see them before they get online.
It is difficult being a parent in the internet and smartphone world we live in. By educating yourself and your children, using modern technology will be a much safer place.