The internet is a wonderful tool for your child’s education, and schools encourage its use. Your child might even prefer a computer over books for research. Although it can make things easier, it is not the safest place for children. Most hackers target susceptible people like children as they are less likely to understand internet safety. So, making sure your child remains safe online is very important.
The internet has a lot of dangerous pitfalls, and your child can click on a suspicious link at any time. Moreover, you can’t always be there with them every step of the way. All this is true, but since the internet is such a vital part of our everyday lives, we can’t keep our children away from it. Here are some things you should know to keep your young ones safe from online traps:
#1: Hiding Personal Information
The internet is a weird place for all. Strangest things can happen, and you don’t want your child to get caught up in them. Your teenager might be searching for Spectrum promotions but end up clicking on a suspicious link. It is always important to hide your personal information online. Hackers can seep deep into your system and steal that information.
If your kid has a social media profile, make sure they are careful about it. The best way would be to stay anonymous on social media. They should not put their last name, house address, or picture anywhere without prior consent.
#2: Check Your Child’s Account Privacy
If you allow them to use their information online, make sure that it is private. You can check their social media account’s privacy settings. Facebook allows posts to be public, only visible to friends, and even private (only me). If you don’t understand how Facebook privacy works, here are some things you can do:
- Set all future posts from public to only friends.
- Choose who can tag you in posts by turning Timeline Review on.
- Turn the Profile Picture Guard on to safeguard privacy.
- Unfriend any unknown people your kid might have added.
- Change what information is visible to the public.
#3: Password Security
Sometimes it can be hard for children to remember passwords for different accounts. So, a lot of the time, they may be using the same password for all their accounts. This is not recommended at all as it puts all their accounts at risk. If hackers attack one of the accounts, they can access all of them easily. Make sure you help your child understand the risks of a weak password.
Your teenager or child should have different passwords for all accounts. Moreover, you can help them in setting up a strong password. Even after doing this, they can still be in danger. There are many ways that hackers ask for your passwords, including Google forms and phishing links. Your child should know that they should never share their password with anyone.
#4: Stay Away from Internet Buddies
It is an ever-growing trend to make friends over the internet. Many people have found life partners on Facebook, Twitter, and Tinder. It might influence your young and naïve kids to make online friends. You have no way of knowing who they are actually talking to behind the social profile. Criminals and hackers can pretend to be someone else and make a catfish account.
You should keep an eye on who your teens are calling friends and what they are talking about. Children should know that they should not share personal details with anyone online. Even if they think they are their friends, do not allow your children to meet online buddies in real life.
#5: Tackle Cyber Bullying Intelligently
Recent data from the i-SAFE Foundation claims that more than 25% of adolescents get bullied repeatedly online. Your child can be one of them, and they are not telling you about it. Most teenagers can be uptight about things like this, so you have to check for yourself. No one can understand your kid better than you, so talk to them.
The best way to avoid cyberbullying is to stop indulging with bullies. All bullies strive for attention and would do anything to get it. If you ignore nasty comments and mean messages, eventually, they will move on and stop bothering you. Teach your child to always stay positive and not take online hate seriously.
#6: Use Parental Control Software
If you want an extra layer of security, you should install parental control software. They allow parents full control over their child’s activities online. There are a lot of great software options on the market like Qustodio, fenced, etc. You can even use the built-in “family options” on your Windows. The software will notify you of keystrokes, any mentioned keywords, location and Wi-Fi updates, etc. You can keep an eye on your child from afar by knowing everything they are doing online.