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The internet is a vast resource for both children and adults alike. It enables their mind. To turn their thoughts into actions. And they can use it to research school reports, communicate with teachers and other kids, and play games for entertainment. Because of these seemingly endless uses of the internet, there are many dangers here as well. From bullying to cybercrime, stalking or harassment, the internet is infamous for all of these. And the children can be an especially easy target to criminals because of their easy-going nature. So, internet safety for children is important.
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Online internet safety
Online internet safety for children greatly depends on the parents being aware of their child’s online activity. And understanding how to help them. In this day and age, almost every child has access to the internet. Be it from their computer or their parent’s smartphones. And they use it for all cases imaginable. Starting from their school work to playing games to settling their curiosity by watching interest fact videos on YouTube. Because of the highly accessible nature of the internet today, it is important to teach children. About online internet safety and etiquettes early on.
Before teaching the children about internet safety, parents must be aware of it. And to do that, one must stay updated about the latest technology or the new trendy app on social media. For a parent who already has a lot of responsibilities, this may seem like a lot to do. But at the end of the day, nothing is too challenging for a parent. When it comes to protecting their kids.
Let’s go through some points
- The most basic common etiquette for the children are not to post personal information. Like their addresses, contact numbers, or passwords anywhere online for internet safety. This may leave trails for online stalkers to visit them physically as well which is quite dangerous.
- Now that the topic of stalking has come up, here’s an important point for internet safety. Talking to strangers is a big no as a child. And when a stranger or any stranger approaches them and makes them feel uncomfortable in any way, the child should let the parents know immediately. This should be the teaching.
- Meeting people from the internet in real life can be risky as well. And if anyone the children don’t know online wants to meet, then the parents have to be notified immediately. There comes internet safety.
- Online scams are something that even adults fall for these days so kids are prone to this as well. Children shouldn’t reply to scam emails or text messages. Which want money or other common traps.
- Malware is a very serious issue today against internet safety. With millions of emails being sent every day. It’s important to make the children aware of spams. How clicking on shady links or downloading things from untrusted sources can cause them to accidentally download malware. Which can result in serious crimes like identity theft.
- Children with their wandering minds are likely to visit or want to visit inappropriate websites. They don’t know about the internet safety anyway. It may be awkward to talk to them about this. But still is very important to let them know what type of websites may be inappropriate for them to visit.
Technology today has developed a lot since the initial days. And there are a lot of tools out there to make life easier for parents. To keep their children safe in the digital space. Here are a few tips:
· Keeping the child’s personal computer in a common space of the house is a good start to internet safety. This automatically discourages them from visiting inappropriate websites. Or anything that their parents won’t approve of. Then, they will have the fear.
· Many anti-virus software offers parental controls. And protects children from things like viruses. And blocks inappropriate websites. So investing in good anti-virus software is a good plan.
· Anti-virus should always be turned off. So parents can go one step farther. And contact the internet provider themselves to block inappropriate sites and other important things for internet safety.
· Despite all these, any tech-savvy child may go through loopholes and fall into the online traps anyways. So checking the child’s online history frequently is a good way to ensure they’re not doing anything they shouldn’t be.
· Every human has the right to privacy. But when children are younger, it may be a good idea to know their passwords to social media profiles. To see what they’re up to.
· When children are up to something their parents wouldn’t approve or when they feel uncomfortable in general, they usually have a tell. So parents should keep an eye out for any changed behavioral patterns amongst their kids.
· In countries like the USA, it is the law for children not to open social media accounts. That is, until they’re 13. So before your kids open their social media account, be sure to check if your country has any such laws.
Another important step towards children’s safety is the educational web quiz game developed alongside UNICEF. The quiz teaches children about all the dangers mentioned above and how to react to them in case of an emergency. It’s complete with fun little graphics and certificates at the end to give children more incentive to complete the whole quiz. But the war on internet safety for children does not end here.
Technology evolves every day and with that comes new ways to scam, harass, and bully children. Everyone must stay updated with recent developments, be responsible, and make sure they keep the children informed about the latest dangers. Internet safety is a choice.