Children of all ages take advantage of cyberspace on a daily basis, whether it’s for homework, playing games, or connecting with friends. Although this is common practice for young people today, for parents, this continues to create another level of concern. There are many real risks in surfing the net, and without education, it’s easy for kids to run right into the traps.
As a parent, how can you keep your children protected from the many traps that await users in cyberspace? Consider these basic tips to keep your kids safe online.
Teach them about cybersecurity early on.
Children can easily grasp the benefits of the internet, but understanding the dangers of the internet such as phishing, viruses, and even communication manners online are things that they should be taught. While their teachers at school may go over certain aspects of internet safety measures, you can prepare your children beforehand by teaching them some lessons on cybersecurity at home. When your children are young and are using the internet with your help or supervision, these are ideal times to start the conversation about cybersecurity, which includes how to create strong passwords, how to identify safe websites, and other basic safety principles for browsing the internet.
Compare the basics of cybersecurity with real-life security.
Many basic ways of staying safe online reflect varying practices of how we stay safe in the real world. Consider these points:
- Consider their words and actions: In real life, you teach your children to be mindful of what they say and do so as not to hurt the feelings of others or put themselves in danger. However, the internet is not always so forgiving. Explain to your kids that once they post something online, it can stay in cyberspace indefinitely without a chance to go back. It might even come back to haunt you later when looking for work or applying to college.
- Beware of strangers: You tell your children to beware of strangers in the real world, and the same should be said about strangers in cyberspace. Tell your children not to communicate with strangers online, accept things from them, or plan to meet someone they have met online in real life.
- Beware of Scams: As your children get older, they will begin to learn about shopping, how to buy great deals, and spot apparent scams. The same rule applies to the internet, but beyond just shopping. Talk to your kids about information phishing, secure transfers when shopping online, and other potential scams they might find online.
- If you see something dangerous, say something: If your child sees that something dangerous is happening, they have been told to tell an adult. On the internet, if they notice that something strange or potentially dangerous is happening anywhere, they visit, ask them to tell you or another trusted adult. This will give you an opportunity to see what the potential problem is and help your children avoid cheating. It can also tell you that you will need to set higher network security settings.
Restrict access to risky sites
When your children surf the web under your direct supervision, you are there to see what they see. But when you are not present, how can you be sure about them not using inappropriate sites. Well, you can do it with the help of internet filters offered by specialized apps like FamilyTime. With the app, parents can block certain keywords or even sites for their kids and ensure their safe browsing effortlessly. To see how do these filters work, give the app a try for free. You can get the trial version of FamilyTime app from the app store on your phone or from the buttons below:
This tip might not fall into cybersecurity, but it is still important. Help your children encourage moderate use of the internet by limiting their access to it. Screen time and internet use unrelated to schoolwork can be restricted to specific times, such as on the weekend or after homework are done. This could help instil healthy habits in your kids when it comes to using technology. Also, be a good example of this behaviour, since children learn a lot through observation.
Teaching children about cybersecurity will be an evolutionary practice, as the network is constantly transforming itself, as are the potential security difficulties that come with it. By staying abreast of basic practices, you can increase their security on the network. As your kids grow up to become experts on the web, they may be the ones to teach you about the latest in cybersecurity.