Protecting our children online is a task that has become increasingly more complex as each day passes. Several years ago, most parents worried most about their children meeting online predators. However, the latest research shows that the risk of online predators has waned somewhat, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks online to worry about. Below are just some of the things you should consider when trying to keep your kids safe online.
Introduce Your Child to the Net
You should be the one to introduce your children to the internet. It’s advantageous for you to discover the internet with your child. Consider exploring the internet together, finding sites that you can both enjoy, that way you can share in the experience. This should give you a better perspective on things when your child is on the internet by themselves.
Use a Nickname
Consider using a nickname instead of your actual name when logging into all these social network platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter.
You could also create separate email accounts for all the social media sites that you visit, rather than using your main email account for all of them. Also, consider connecting solely with people you are familiar with.
Protect Your Personal Information
Don’t post your personal information on the internet, such as email address, home address, and phone numbers. This is because strangers can find out a great deal about you, from just your name or email address or mobile number. If you would like to put your real birthday in your profile, you should set its visibility to private; this is to prevent people from stealing your identity online.
Talk about the Risks Meeting People
Adults must understand that the internet is ultimately an excellent place for children to meet people of like mind and age and to make new friends, however, for safety purposes, its best that the child refrains from meeting random strangers on the internet without first being accompanied by an adult, or at the very least having permission from their parents before they go out and meet anyone online.
Report Illegal Online Material
It’s very important that we conduct ourselves responsibly and report any and all matters, which we find to be illegal. This way we can prevent illegal activities such as child pornography and child predators from doing what they do. Hotline.it provides an anonymous facility which you can use to report illegal apps on the internet, in a secure way. This service is tailored towards curtailing child pornographers but can be used for all illegal behaviors.
Ensure Your Children Always Log Out
You should always do this because it will ensure that friends and families do not use your email account for whatever purpose.
If you have a child that is being bullied online, then you should teach him or her how not to respond, and how to keep a copy of all the messages between them and the bully, which they can use when reporting said a person(s) to the website or school. If there are any threats to the message, then you can report them to the police. If you decide to report the incident to the school, then you should follow it up, to ensure that something is done about it. Most states, cities have laws against various forms of abuse; schools are thus obligated to address these issues.
Evaluate Your Children’s Online Activities
In order to better guide and protect your child as regards internet use, it’s very important that you have some idea of the things that he/she does when online. Let your child show you exactly what he/she likes to get up to, including the various sites and what they do on them. Learning as much as possible about the technical aspects of the internet will help you make a more informed decision.
Erase Old Accounts
If you no longer access a particular form or visit a specific social media site, then you should delete the account. It’s pointless having an account, which holds personal information about you but is not being put to use.
Give what’s required
You should never give out personal information simply because it’s asked of you. You should think about whether those who are asking for it, actually need it. Whenever you’re filling in forms, whether it’s to register for a newsletter or subscribe to a website, you should always give out the least amount of information possible.
Get Anti-Virus Software
Make sure your system is secure with internet security software. You should also make sure it’s kept up to date, with the latest patches and virus definitions.