Technology has become indispensable in today’s world. It affects how we go about our daily lives. From shopping to entertainment, the internet is present in every domain. Surprisingly, kids of this generation grow up in an online-driven environment that can not be limited. According to a survey, children’s entertainment videos online are amongst the highest viewed content. Kids as little as seven years old have an online presence over social media accounts and various gaming platforms.
Unlike older generations, kids these days get the hang of technology quickly and easily. Many pre-teens and teens are experts in navigating various features, be it gaming or even the dark web. According to a survey, smartphones are accessible by more than 95% of teens, and 45% of them are always online. Apart from the utility the internet offers, it is also a breeding ground for cyberbullying and child predators. Every year many kids and teens fall prey to cybercrimes that alter their life completely.
Parents must pay attention to the activities of their children online. Many times, there is no proper education and awareness that leads to indecent exposure to the ugly side of the internet. To gain attention and fit among peers, a lot of teens end up posting sensitive information online. Therefore, teaching them about the dangers of the web is of utmost importance.
5 Methods For Parents To Protect Their Family
As we discussed the importance of online safety, here are five ways that you can implement for the protection of your family from cybercrimes and cyberbullying.
Educate Your Children About Cyber Threats
The internet is a fascinating thing for children. It has everything that they wish for with unlimited access. However, the rosy side of the internet can soon turn out to be a trap if one is not careful.
Kids can fall prey to predators who have an online disguise of a friendly figure and share private information with them. This can lead to trafficking, cyberbullying, financial scams, etc.
Hence, it is vital to sit down with kids and educate them about the threats and how to mitigate them through safe and careful usage of the internet.
Use a VPN For Browsing Safety
Your information is available to third parties and cyberbullies when you are surfing the internet from an open network. Hackers can easily access sensitive data and bully your children online.
Kids tend to surf recklessly and jump from one website to the other. Sometimes, they log into gaming portals that can be highly unsafe on an unencrypted network.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for a safer and private browsing experience. With a VPN use, all your information is encrypted, which is quite difficult to decipher through malicious means.
Set Limits For Online Time
Nowadays, it is commonly seen that kids are hooked on electronic devices, be it smartphones or laptops. This can create withdrawal from reality and create a false sense of the virtual world among kids.
Children can end up sharing sensitive information to fit in to make more virtual friends. Additionally, they can get exposed to inappropriate content at a young age which can severely affect their minds.
Talk to your kids and set limits on their usage of electronic devices or internet usage. Schedule every day or weekly hours available for the internet, apps that they can access, and activities they can engage in online.
Monitor Your Kid’s Online Activities
You may let your kids have their own social media accounts, email IDs, or surf the internet without supervision. But it is vital to check their online activities on a regular basis to ensure safety.
It is highly likely that your kids may encounter inappropriate content through searches, downloads, or social media. Sometimes, the extent of that can be such that they might find it challenging to discuss with anyone.
Therefore, inform your kids that you will monitor their activities along with them and tell them why it is essential. Once they are wise enough to use the internet safely, you can monitor their actions once in a while.
Control What Websites Kids Surf
The internet is a confusing place. One moment you are searching for some information; the other, you are on a completely different link at a single click.
Kids can land on pages that are inappropriate or dangerous. Sometimes, out of curiosity, kids try exploring the dark web and open up your computer to hosts of cyber threats. Additionally, these websites can lead them to predators that lurk online.
Use the parental lock and limit access to websites that are inappropriate for their age or are potentially dangerous or malign. You can also have anti-malware and website blocker software for higher security.
With education making its way online, it is crucial for parents to step in to ensure cybersecurity in their homes. It requires effort and great communication to monitor and maintain your kid’s online safety. Keep educating your kids and providing safety measures until they are grown enough to handle the online world.