Protecting Kids on the Internet

By Jennifer Noble | Jul 10, 2017

Teaching children to use the internet safely and avoid inappropriate online interactions is something that many parents struggle with. Many children are more adept with laptops and tablets than their parents would like. They are in love with the internet’s ability to provide templates of any animal to color in as well as answer obscure questions. Unfortunately, children don’t know much about phishing, online privacy, social networking etiquette or any security issue associated with this world. Teaching them about the dangers of the internet is a parent’s job, and it is intimidating to say the least. Here are easy-to-implement tips to protect your young one from dangers lurking on the internet.

 

Learn to keep private information private

 

Children need to learn to keep vital information private. This includes their name, where they go to play, school or live. This also applies to confidential information as well as that of their siblings. Remind them of this rule as often as possible, even if they roll their eyes, until they say it in their sleep.

 

Take advantage of parental controls

 

Many browsers including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Safari allow parents to set up content filters and security safeguards. You can access them via the Internet Options folder and choose filters for sex, language, nudity and even violence. If you don’t want to deal with all the fiddling, you can simply install browsers designed for children on their devices.

 

Discuss internet safety at an early age

 

It’s important that you discuss internet safety with your kid as soon as they start doing anything that involves browsing or social media. Rather than wait for that time when they start using computers independently, talk about it when they are still learning. Take the opportunity to talk about the perils of the internet versus real life, and what they can do to protect themselves. Discuss the importance of using different passwords for different accounts, and the risk of using the same password. Teach them how to create strong passwords by mixing capital and small letters with numbers and symbols.

 

Track their internet activity

 

Many parents believe that snooping in their children’s browsing history is a violation of their privacy. This shouldn’t bother you if all you are trying to do is protect your kid. If possible, sit next to your child when he’s navigating the online world. Better yet, take advantage of monitoring software. You can install one on their phones, laptop and tablet. This kind of software allows you to keep an eye on their internet activity and more without having to be physically next to your kids.

 

Become contacts and friends in your kids’ social media

 

Ensure that your children only accept friend requests and talk to people they know. More often than not, the number of friends on social media is viewed a popularity contest. This presents an opportunity for people with sinister intentions to infiltrate your kid’s inner circle. As a parent, becoming a contact in your child’s social media circle presents an opportunity to monitor their online interactions and posts. Ask to see their devices occasionally and take a look at what applications are installed. This gives you an idea of which services your kids are using.

 

Stay the course

 

The hardest part of tracking online activity is implementing the rules. Whether you are cooking, talking, playing World of Warcraft or tweeting; it is incredibly important that you follow through and ensure that your kids obey the set rules. They should know that you have their best interests at heart but you have to work together, and this requires them to adhere to the rules.

 

Conclusion

 

There is no doubt that the internet has made parenting a little difficult. While there are tons of safety software and tricks at our disposal, the truth remains that none provide a 100% guarantee that children will be safe. Parents have to take additional measures to ensure further protection. From installing security safeguards and content filters to teaching children the dangers of the internet and becoming involved in their online activity, there are many ways to protect your loved ones from unsafe online interactions.

 

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