The internet is an incredible place to shop, learn, have fun, and engage your family and friends. Unfortunately, it has also become a tool for crooks, thieves, and predators who seek to cause harm to anyone who avails themselves. Available statistics suggest that 70% of kids encounter violent or sexual content while researching online, while 17% receive uncomfortable messages. These numbers are quite disturbing, especially for parents and guardians. Are you concerned about the safety of your kids on the internet? These four tips should help shield and keep them safe while online:
- Learn as much as you can about the internet
The internet is a rapidly evolving space; what might prove a safety measure today might not be adequate the next moment. Therefore, you need to keep learning to understand the internet and how it works, and train your kids to be safe online. What can you teach your kids if you are not particularly abreast of information on the internet? How much do you know about safe browsing or social media security?
- Use a kid-friendly search engine
It is common to chance on “bad” websites while browsing on the internet. One way to minimize the risks of your kids being exposed to such sites is to encourage them to approach you when encountering any problems while on the internet. The internet is an excellent tool for research and studies, meaning various websites have adopted several SEO techniques to improve their online visibility. Unfortunately, operators of these “bad websites” also seek to exploit some of these methods to enhance their nefarious activities online. Using a search engine that is kid-friendly decreases the risk of your kids seeing and accessing such websites.
- Abstain from sharing personal information on the internet
Studies indicate that two-thirds of US residents are open to granting companies access to their data online to access products and services and discounts. However, it is a bad idea to post your data like your home address, credit card details, phone numbers, etc. on the internet, especially without security measures. Some individuals and criminals are always on the lookout to exploit you and your family with such information. So, teach your kids what they can share with friends or persons they meet on the internet. It is especially important because it is easier to convince a young kid to offer such information than an adult.
- Teach your kids how to use social media safely
Social media platforms like Facebook permit users to share photographs and recordings of themselves and have discussions with friends and strangers. It is okay for your kids to share such stuff with their friends and people they are familiar with, but as big as the internet is, this can quickly get into the wrong hands. So when making posts on social media, it should generally be okay for everyone to see it.
When you have set up internet guidelines, do well to have them in writing. If possible, have a contract ready for your kids to sign and keep one visibly close to the computer. At least it offers an opportunity to instil discipline and responsibility in them at that age.