Cyber safety for kids is a necessity these days. Being aware of your kids’ online activity is a full-time job for parents. Kids are very smart with technology these days, however they do need some training to avoid getting into any trouble. For kids’ internet safety, they need to be given some education through which cyber-criminals can be tackled.
Following are some basic cyber safety tips that can be shared with children…
1. Set limits
Cyber safety for kids demands that a specific time should be kept for using the internet for your kids. Playing video games online or watching youtube videos are very addictive and take up too much online time for kids. Tell your kids that there is a world outside the internet and they need to try to balance between both the online world and the outside world. This is very important for kids’ online safety.
2. Monitor your kids’ online activity
Cyber safety for children demands that the computers in the common area of your home where they can be supervised. This will prevent them from visiting unsafe websites or perform activities that they are not allowed to do normally.
3. Social Media Netiquette
Teach your kids about cyber safety by telling them that the manners they are taught to be followed in the real world is the same to be followed in the digital world. Care should be taken while posting any information online as whatever is posted stays there forever even after deleting it.
Cyber Safety principles require parents to know about the threats present in the digital space. Cyberbullying is one such threat. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online. People doing this can post child’s photos online, spread rumors or blackmail children through chat. Advise children to not respond to it themselves. Instead notify a parent or teacher about the hurtful messages. Being bullied can have long term effects for the child hence it is important to tackle it immediately and teach the kids’ online safety.
5. Make use of strong passwords
Cyber safety for kids requires that children should use strong passwords for their online accounts. A strong password is one which is more than 8 characters in length. It should be a mix of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters and special characters. Cyber safety principles demand use of different passwords for different accounts. Don’t reuse them. Also, advise kids to not use their full name as a username. They should protect their identity by using a nickname and stay anonymous.
6. Do not give personal information to strangers
Cyber safety for children requires that the personal information like the following should be kept private and not disclosed to any stranger the child meets online.
- Home address
- School address
- Phone number
- Financial information of family
- Social security number
The child should be advised about cyber safety and asked to be very careful before disclosing the above information. In no case should these be shared with strangers. In case such information is shared on any social media sites then the privacy setting should be checked so that it is not viewed by the public.
7. Age appropriate sites
There are age restrictions on certain sites for cyber safety. Facebook, instagram and twitter have a minimum age limit of 13 years of age for the children to create an account. Age limit is necessary to ensure kids’ cyber safety. It is a good idea to get yourself added to your child’s social media account so that you can check what they post online and discipline them if you find any objectionable content posted by them.
8. Usage of safe search engines
Cyber safety for kids requires that children should use safe search engines. Encourage your child to use safe search engines while searching for any query. For example: SafeSearchEngine.com. It filters out inappropriate content from the search results so that your child will only view content meant to be seen by kids only. Children may not intentionally search for inappropriate content or might see it accidentally. By using SafeSearchEngine.com, such incidents will not happen by chance also.
9. Usage of Safeguard should be advised
If a child has access to an internet-enabled device then this means they have access to a large amount of content across the web. Cyber safety for children requires usage of online safeguards and parental-control settings, filters and products that help in blocking inappropriate content so that as a parent you are able to protect what their child sees online.
Don’t forget to share among your friends.