Online Security Tips for Parents
The Internet can be a wonderful tool for children to learn new things, find entertainment, explore new interests, stay in touch with their friends and express their creativity and much more. There’s no doubt that the online world has become a huge part of our lives and that it will be even more important in the lives of our growing children.
However, the Internet also comes with lots of potential risks like inappropriate content, data security, cyber-bullying, and predators, just to mention a few. It’s important that children who are using the Internet learn to do so safely. They need to know the dangers of the Internet and how to protect themselves.
Of course, as parents we have the responsibility to help teach our children Internet safety, together with their school, and there are also other things that we can do to help our children stay safe online. We will look at online security tips for parents in this article, so do read on to learn more about how you can protect your kids’ safety online.
- Use an age-appropriate approach
With younger children, you can usually sit with them when they’re using technology and set up child accounts and only download apps that are suitable for their ages. With older children, you want to protect them and keep an eye on what they’re doing online but without them feeling that you’re invading their privacy. With older children who might have access to their own devices, it’s important to discuss the dangers thoroughly and talk about why certain things should be avoided online and why they might be too young for some things like social media platforms or online games that are aimed at grown-ups.
- Be aware of the warning signs
For both the parents and the children, it’s important to be aware of dangers and their warning signs so that you can identify them easily and quickly. It’s a good idea to set up parental controls, a firewall and content blockers to reduce the risk of any inappropriate content but predators often use sites for children so it’s important that kids don’t use these sites unsupervised and that older kids are aware of the things to look out for. Generally, it’s a good rule to only chat with people online that you know in the real world too.
When it comes to cyber-bullying, this can sometimes be done by strangers but also by people from school who are looking for a way to be mean anonymously. If your child seems upset after spending time online, always investigate to see what’s going on.
- Teach your children about other online safety concerns
Other online safety concerns to teach your children about include what’s safe and unsafe to click on (links and downloads in emails, DMs and pop-up ads, for example), how to behave on social media (be kind, use suitable privacy settings and think before you post as once something is online it’s there forever), password security (how to set up a secure password, remember to change it often and use 2FA wherever possible) and why a VPN is a great way to protect your privacy. Last but not least, ensure everything is always kept updated as this is a huge part of keeping safe online.
Like with most things in life, good communication is key and will help keep your children safe online. When they get older, you will not have to rely so much on parental controls as taking the steps above will have taught your children to use the Internet safely.
Created with TechWarn.