Did you know kids as young as 3 year-olds have some form of internet access through computers and phones according to the American Community Survey? Unfortunately, many of these kids are prone to unprecedented dangers such as suicidal thoughts from being exposed to trolling—but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom!
There are numerous steps you can take to maximize internet safety for your kids. Read on to find out our top tips for keeping your kids protected when they’re browsing the web.
Educate Them About Cybersecurity Using Terms They Understand
If you’ve been putting off educating your kids about the dangers of browsing the internet because they’re too young to understand, why not get creative? We recommend teaching them about being wary of dangers like cyberbullying and hackers using terms they understand.
For instance, introduce them to the concept of phishing using a metaphor involving actual fishing. Tell them how people try to steal information like names/addresses by using fake emails as bait and how to spot a fake email from a real one. If you want to go the extra mile, draw things out or use cartoons to keep them engaged!
Monitor Their Internet Activity
Most parents understand the importance of monitoring their kids’ internet activity to keep them safe—but it’s how you do it that counts!
We recommend looking at parental control apps and browser privacy settings that restrict access to inappropriate websites and/or track online activity. If your child tries to access an inappropriate website, consider having a frank conversation about it and explaining the dangers of their actions gently.
Be Wary of Their Social Media Usage
Have you stopped seeing social media updates from your kids even though they take photos and post them online all the time? Chances are they’ve put you on a restricted list! Luckily, getting unfriended by your kid on social media doesn’t mean you can’t protect them from dangerous situations like being asked by strangers for personal information.
We recommend regularly checking their social media usage by monitoring the apps they’re using and/or websites they’re visiting on their phones and laptops. It’s also worth being in touch with your kids’ friends’ parents to monitor their collective social media use together. This will give you a few extra hands to keep everyone safe—and if there’s something fishy going on, you’ll get wind of it quickly.
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