If your kids are using the internet, they need to know about internet safety. It’s vital that they know how to stay safe online, how to keep their information secure, and how to avoid internet scams.
As amazing and life-changing as the internet is, without the proper monitoring and guidance, anyone can end up in a world of the unknown, and for children of all ages, this can happen way too fast and easily.
Whether it’s on social media, though the search results, or even on a mobile device, it’s important to make sure your family is protected online today more than ever before. And while we touch upon this topic and why it’s very important for parents of all ages, we will also be providing you with some useful tips and information on how to better protect your family, personal information, and browsing habits while using the internet.
So here are six simple tips for child safety on the internet.
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Use a VPN for safer browsing
For internet users of all ages, using free public Wi-Fi to save your data can be very tempting, especially now that it’s available everywhere from coffee shops to train stations. But public networks are not secure so your information can easily be intercepted.
With more parents always on the go and trying to keep their kids quite while they are working on traveling, many are looking to pass off their mobile devices to them to keep them busy. If there is a public-wifi connection in the area, this might seem like a good idea.
However, as pointed out by Vipre VPN, open-access wifi can lead to many unwanted situations and dangers for unsuspecting users and it’s very easy to avoid this danger by using a VPN.
The way a VPN works is quite simple, and for more users, it’s simply a matter of installing an app or clicking a button. By doing so, this encrypts your traffic and sends it down a private channel so that hackers can’t intercept your information.
Know the dangers
You can’t keep your kids safe if you don’t know the dangers, so make sure to educate yourself about child safety on the internet.
Kids often get caught out on gaming forums or by clicking on links in emails and direct messages. These can easily result in them downloading a virus or sharing personal information that leads to identity theft.
If you keep up to date with the most common internet scams, it will be easier to teach your kids how to stay safe online.
Teach them why privacy is important
Young people need to know why their online privacy is important. It’s so easy for them to share what seems like a trivial detail like their street name, but this is the sort of information that criminals use for identity theft or to stalk someone in real life.
According to many of the top parenting blogs on the internet, this is one of the most talked-about topics, but not one that parents are wanting to discuss with their younger children. For those that don’t want to discuss such topics with their younger children, it’s often best to simply provide a limited internet usage experience — which can easily be done through various security and monitoring applications.
In either case, make sure that your kids know what their personal information is, and why they need to keep it secure. They shouldn’t give away any details such as their account credentials, home address, or banking details.
Show them how to create a strong password
Weak passwords are easy for hackers to crack, meaning that they can access or hijack your accounts.
So as soon as your child wants to start going online, make sure that they understand the importance of creating strong passwords and keeping them secure.
A strong password contains at least 8 characters, with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. It shouldn’t contain a real word, and should never include any personal information.
It’s important to keep passwords secure, so either memorize them or use a password manager like Lastpass. Use a different password on each website, and change them regularly to help reduce the risk of anyone managing to gain access.
Set a good example
As with many things in life, it’s easier to set rules on internet safety for kids if they can see you following them yourself. These rules should also apply to any teenagers and young adults within your home as well, as their daily practices will likely pass down to younger siblings as well.
If their usage is limited to specific websites, social media outlets, or mobile devices, don’t let them actively view what you are doing when you are browsing the internet for personal or business work — and if you do, just explain to them that some areas of the internet are for adults and professional use only.
How to Keep Your Child and Family Safe on the Internet
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the internet is wonderful for many different things, but it can also open up a whole can of worms at the same time. Not just for what is viewable online, and who might be on the other end of a conversation, but also for the personal safety and protection of your family and important information as well.
With all of this in mind, check that you’re following these rules as well as educating your children about online safety. Make sure that you’re not oversharing personal details on social media or clicking on links that could lead to phishing sites. And if you are allowing them to use social media, make sure you are monitoring their usage and have the necessary parental controls in place.
If your child can see that their online browsing habits and usage is important to you, they’re more likely to take your guidance seriously.