You’ve probably already heard of the words, ‘cyberbullying’, ‘catfishing’, ‘phishing’ or ‘scamming’. They are all words that refer to bad experiences in the digital world. As the digital world gets bigger, more advanced and more important, it’s impossible to keeps our kids away from it. One day, using the internet will be vital for them. So, it’s more important than ever to keep them safe while they use it and teach them to use it responsibly. Here’s what you can do to keep your kids protected while they’re online.
If your children are going to use the internet, there should be some boundaries. For example, you should think about how much time you’re willing to allow your kids to use the internet every day. One hour? Two hours? Whatever you decide on, make your children aware of it and enforce your decision. Similarly, there should be a list of approved websites that your child can visit. If your child wants to visit any other websites, they should be approved by you first.
No matter what they’re doing, kids have a tendency to push the boundaries. It’s a good idea to check in on what your kids are doing online every so often. That’s not to say you should be constantly looking over their shoulders – you need to establish trust. However, you do need to make sure they aren’t looking at anything they shouldn’t be looking at. Take a peek at the screen while they’re using it and monitor your website history.
There isn’t much information that a young child will have to part with online, but as your children get older, they’ll need their own accounts. From social media to e-mail and online banking. Your children will have to create passwords and learn how to keep personal details safe online. Make sure they know not to share details with anyone else, especially over social media accounts. They’ll also have to know how to spot a scam e-mail or message as they spend more time online. Do not allow them to add friends to their profiles if they don’t know the person friending them. An ideal way of ensuring your and your child’s information is kept safe is purchasing a degauss hard drive because you can permanently erase details when you need to.
Cyberbullying can happen in age groups as young as eight but it’s often teenagers that get the brunt of it. It’s a difficult subject to approach with a young child, but there are things you can teach your children so they avoid cyberbullying. Firstly, if your child receives hurtful comments, they shouldn’t reply. ‘Troll’ is a term used for a person who purposely starts arguments or says hurtful comments online. The aim is to get attention, so the less attention your child gives to a troll, the more likely they are to leave him/her alone. If you notice your child is more withdrawn after using the internet, try talking about their online experiences. Here are some tips on helping your children if they’ve been victims of cyberbullying.
CEO and Founder at Mighty Shouts.
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