The arrival of the internet has changed many things as we know it, presenting countless learning opportunities to adults and kids alike.
It has changed the way we learn, how we communicate with one another. Even to the entertainment industry that is, it supports video streaming and virtual apps and games. And with the rapid technological advancement, schools have begun to adopt the use of tablets, laptops, and smartphones, etc. into their system for educational purposes. An example is virtual learning.
And just as much as the opportunities it presents, also comes with it a lot of dangers. And your role as a parent is to ensure your kids are aware of these dangers and can defend themselves when faced with them. If you are like every other parent, the safety of your children would be a top priority.
Not sure what to do, here are the top 10 tips to keep your kids safe online.
Engage in Honest Conversations With Your Kids
Nowadays, kids are most likely to get their first smartphones or tablets at very young ages so, educating them early enough is a sure way to protect your kids online. Warn them about internet dangers such as malware, dangerous websites, and sex offenders that prey on vulnerable people. Listen to what they have to say, and help them see that you are honestly looking out for them. Do not do the talking alone. Listen to them, too. After all, if it’s just you talking, it becomes a lecture, not a conversation. And no one likes being lectured.
Remind Your Children not to Interact With Strangers or Meet Them
Constantly teach them that strangers they meet in the online space are not their friends. Let them know some people online often lie about their age, and online predators can even pretend to be children like them too.
Educate them never to give personal details about themselves, or even their friends’ names to anyone online because predators who get hold of this information could find your kid in real life.
And never for any reason should they meet up with someone they met online without your approval. And if you do agree to their meeting, you should go with them and be sure to meet in a public place.
Know Their Passwords
An easy way to reduce the risk and keep them safe online is to create accounts for your kids using your name. This will help you avoid exposing your kid’s name. Plus, you’ll have their passwords.
But please, always respect the age limitations imposed on accounts. If a website has an age limit, you should wait till your child is around that age. And if it’s something you can’t wait for, consider using a phone monitoring app like Xnspy to keep track of virtually everything they’re doing.
Whatever choice you make, make sure you know their passwords and inform them that you’ll be constantly checking their accounts.
Watch Out For Changes in Your Child’s Behavior.
Kids react differently to things and noticing those behavioral changes can help provide an early solution before things get out of hand. It is your responsibility as a parent.
Watch for signs like partial/complete withdrawal from activities, attitude and body reaction, having an account on sites you are not aware of, whether you approve of the site or not.
It could be a signal that your kids are being preyed on by cyber bullies or online sex offenders. Make sure you are on the lookout for these changing patterns in their behavior.
Pay Attention to the Type of Gifts Your Kids Receive
So sexual predators can go as far as sending you kids physical letters, photos, and even gifts to seduce them or to threaten them to stay quiet.
That is why you should always be alert, and engage your kids about any new pieces of stuff or toys they bring home that you do not know or approve of the source.
Use Technology to Protect Them- Monitor Their Online History
Do not undermine the importance of technology in protecting your kids. Yes, go over their web browser and look through their “History” to see a list of websites they’ve been browsing.
Also, be sure to check the recycle bin to see if any files have been deleted. You may be surprised at what you could find.
Avoid snooping. Let them know beforehand that you’ll be going through their devices every once in a while so you don’t look like a criminal when you’re going through it.
Snooping could destroy the trust your kids have in you. If you’re not always available, Xnspy is one of the top 5 best phone monitoring app worldwide you could use to keep track of your kids.
Set Rules and Stick to Them
Placing a limit on your kid’s screen time, setting boundaries for content that is inappropriate, and making sure your kids stick to them as a parent.
So do it. Prevent them from watching movies and games with adult and violent scenes. Consider enabling filters on their device browsers to block out inappropriate content.
You could even consider buying a Wi-Fi router that has parental controls abilities to further increase your chances of keeping your kids safer online.
Spend Time With Them Online
Creating a series of opportunities for your child to having a safe and positively inspired online interaction with friends, family, and you are another great idea. Connecting with others is more important than ever in this era. Your “virtual interactions” are a great opportunity to teach them kindness and empathy.
Help them recognize and avoid unsuitable content. The goal is to make them aware and able to defend themselves from online dangers whether you are present with them or not, and not to put them in fear. There are many digital resources out there. Show them the right way to find it.
Encourage Healthy Online Habits
Encourage, monitor, and reward good online behaviors and on-video calls. Use a phone monitoring app like Xnspy to keep track of their online activities.
Teach your child to promote and display kind and respectful attitudes towards their classmates, be mindful of the type of clothes they put on, and join video calls from the living room, not the bedroom.
Take time to educate them properly to spot inappropriate content and how to avoid them. Also, use the opportunity to explore together with them the correct online habits.
Let Them Have Fun and Express Themselves
As you educate your kids about the dangers of the internet, remind them how it can be fun, too. Spending time together on the web is an opportunity to encourage your children to use their voices online to share their opinions and beliefs on matters they show interest in and pay attention to those in need during a crisis. Show your kids how to have fun online.
Let them be involved in activities that motivate them. Video tutorial classes like exercises for kids, dance tutorials, and video games that require physical movement.
Also, try to balance online recreational activities with offline activities that do not involve screen time like time outside, taking a walk, camping trips, cycling, jogging, and cooking, etc., if possible.