teach kids internet safety

Teach kids internet safety by explaining your expectations of their online behaviour. Tell them to behave responsibly while online to avoid cyberbullying, identity theft, malware and inappropriate content.

Parents are the first line of defense for children’s internet safety. When it comes to protecting kids offline and online parents play an important role. This role cannot be passed on to others. Teachers, any other trustworthy adult or family members can support to a certain extent but finally the consequences of what their child is doing online falls upon the parent. 

So how can you teach kids internet safety?

The most important tip that parents should remember for kids online safety is communication with kids…

Kids make many mistakes. They do not go to parents when they make mistakes as they know the consequences i.e. their laptops and smartphones will be confiscated or the home wifi will be switched off. Kids think that parents won’t understand their issues. This makes matters worse. 

1. So the best way for parents to get into the digital life of their kids is to communicate with them often about their use of digital space. Ask them about their favourite online game. Know about which websites and apps they frequently use. Become a buddy for your kids who will be their first point of contact to ask anything about technology. Explain kids internet safety during these conversations. There will be plenty of time for you to teach them about essential characteristics of a responsible technology user.

2. Next would be to teach them to limit what they share. Teach kids internet safety by helping them understand what information should stay private like home address, school address, family’s financial information, social security number, passwords, contact number etc. Tell them that “the internet does not forget” anything that one posts online. Any inappropriate digital trail can harm them in future. 

3. Teach them what to do if something goes wrong. Teach kids internet safety by talking to your child about what your child should do if they experience something negative online. Tell them that they can always approach you in case they see something that upsets them or if a stranger sends them a message. Assure them that you will help them through the situation without getting angry.

4. Tell them not to use social logins on untrusted sites. Many sites which kids use to play games, quizzes, etc ask them to log in using their social media profile. Teach kids internet safety by asking them not to log into such sites as they tend to mine data from the child’s social media profile to target advertisements to them and who knows what else. Log in using a social media profile only if the site is trustworthy and secure.

5. Teach them about the use of passwords. Internet safety of children is assured by teaching them about using passwords for keeping their accounts secure and preventing cybercriminals from accessing your personal information. Internet safety is assured by keeping a strong password which is unique. Teach kids to not use the same password for multiple accounts. The longer a password is, the more secure it will be. Aim for at least 16 characters. Make it random. Avoid using common phrases and personal references such as birthdays, anniversaries and so on. Never store passwords in a text file. if your system is compromised, attackers can steal all your passwords at once. 

6. Teach your child how to deal with cyberbullying. Children are using social media very often. There are cyberbullies on social media which threatens and harasses children. Discuss the topic of cyberbullies with your child and make a plan on how to deal with them. Tell your child to tell you the instant he faces threat or harassment online. They can also report or block  the cyberbully via the social media app. Remind your child to not respond to the cyberbully under any circumstances as that makes matters worse.

7. Make use of safe search engines. Tell your kids to use safe search engines like SafeSearchEngine.com. Safe search engines filter inappropriate content from the search results and you can be rest assured that your child will not stumble upon any indecent content or image while searching any query. The search result shows an error page in case any unsafe search query is made. So, your kid will only see safe search results.

Don’t forget to share among your friends.

Happy Safe Searching!

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