With a huge increase in the time children spend online, it has never been more important to ensure that you and your children know as much as possible about internet safety. You can do things to help your children surf the internet and play games safely online – and there are things that your children can learn to make sure they are safe too.
Here is what you need to help your children learn about online safety:
Young children are growing up, and instead of having movie stars and pop stars as their idols – they have influencers, Instagram moguls, and Twitch streamers. What this means is that children are used to seeing people share their lives online using photos and videos. And, when children don’t understand the issue with sharing photos online – this is a recipe for disaster.
Predators will be looking for photos of children that they can use, and it is important that you make sure that all photos and videos are private and only shared with family and friends.
Be sure to check the filters and parental settings.
There are a couple of pieces of information that you and your children should make sure are not shared online. Your address, the locations that you go to often, phone numbers, and the name of the school or any places your children go to.
If you share pictures of your children online, make sure to blur out or cover school badges, and don’t show the routes that you walk or drive to get there.
Make sure that you keep the information private and that your children do too. There are almost no occasions where someone will need this information. Make sure that you talk to your children about hacking, wifi eavesdropping dangers, online stalking, and the dangers of sharing information online.
Millions of people have used the internet to make friends – but equally, there have been many horror stories about children and adults making ‘friends’ online. It is difficult to know who people are behind the screen. Having a conversation about how people can lie about who they are, where they live, and their intentions is one of the ways that you can protect your kids online.
Effectively what you are trying to explain to children is that people online are strangers – no matter how much the person shares with them. And, you shouldn’t share anything with them that might tell them where they can find you – or use the information against you.
The internet is one of our most amazing tools; there isn’t anything you can’t learn to do online. Whole websites are dedicated to teaching you any skills that you want, with videos, guides, and more. But, along with plenty of real information and real people, the internet is filled with fake media, conspiracy theories, and even adverts that trick children into giving information in exchange for something free.
Talk to your children about things like video editing, fake photos, and other things that are designed to be almost too good to be true.
There is a lot to be said about being respectful online. And while not everyone will be nice online – because it can be anonymous, people can pretend to be whoever they want. This can cause a lot of people to be what you might’ve heard, such as ‘keyboard warriors,’ and they are mean online, and they do it without care.
Being nice online and treating other people with respect won’t guarantee that you will get it back, but it will make it more likely that people will be nice in return.
As well as just staying safe online, it is important that your child can have fun doing things that they enjoy, like playing games and creating content or other fun things.
One of the biggest and more important things that you can do is make sure that your children know that they can come to you with anything that is upsetting them online – even if they think they’re going to be in trouble. Often children will hide something when they feel like they will be at fault – however, when it comes to their online safety, it is vital that you keep the lines of communication open.
Making sure that your children trust you and that you have given them enough trust and respect in return can help. However, it is important that you have things like their passwords and locations too.
Even the best parent-children relationship needs some boundaries, and you should be able to check in and see what your children are up to when you need to.
Here are some more ways that you can help to keep your child safe online: Keeping Your Children Safe Online: 5 Tips.