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Kids today are constantly connected to technology, and they use social media, play video games, and watch online videos. This constant connection can be a great thing for kids, who can share their thoughts and feelings with the world, but it can also be dangerous.
One of the most important things parents can do to keep their kids safe online is to create a safe online environment. It means setting boundaries on how much access your kids have to the Internet, monitoring what they are doing online, and teaching them how to protect themselves from online predators.
The good news is that putting some technical safeguards in place for your children on the Internet is not difficult. More significantly, the best way to safeguard your kids is to communicate with them. We hope this parent’s guide will help you create a safe online environment for your kids.
1. What are the different types of online safety threats?
There are many different types of online safety threats, but some of the most common include cyberbullying, sexting, and online scams.
Cyberbullying is when someone harasses or threatens another person online. Sexting is sending nude pictures or videos without consent.
Online scams involve people trying to trick you out of your money by posing as a reputable company or person. Always be suspicious of anything you don’t know or trust, and be sure to keep an eye out for warning signs like extreme requests for personal information or unexpected requests for money. If you feel like you’re being cyberbullied, sexted, or scammed, don’t hesitate to reach out to your school or local police department. They can help protect you and take any appropriate action.
There are also a variety of other online safety threats, but these are some of the most common. Always be aware of the surroundings and watch out for any signs that you may be in danger.
2. How do you teach your child about online safety?
There are a few ways to teach your child about online safety. You can start by talking to them about what they do on the Internet. If they are old enough, you can also set up a parental control account and monitor their online activities. You can also create a family safe browser settings for them and ensure they use the correct passwords for their accounts and devices.
Last, you can help them be safe by staying aware of what is happening online and being careful when online. Educate them never to share their personal information, not give out personal information about themselves or others, and never post anything that could identify them.
Use “family safe browser.”
A family-safe browser is a browser that is designed to keep your family safe online. It will block harmful websites, track how often your children visit them and provide other safety features.
Let us further look in detail at the various options and solutions available to discuss online safety measures for kids.
3. Online Safety For Kids-Parental Guide
3.1 Mobile Phones and Applications
One of the most popular devices for children is a mobile phone. However, like any other electronic device, these phones have the potential to be harmful if not used safely. Parents need to be aware of the applications and games available for mobile phones and play safe when using them.
When deciding which phone for a child, parents should first consider what type of phone is best for that particular child. For instance, an older child may want a smartphone with more customization features than a younger child who just needs a basic phone. Once the type of phone has been determined, parents should research the different applications and games available for that type of phone. Some applications and games can be very dangerous and addictive; therefore, monitor how much time the child is spending on their phone each day and set appropriate limits.
Parents also need to be aware of protecting their mobile phones from being hacked or stolen. Some simple steps include: never giving out personal information such as passwords or social media login information, locking devices with a passcode, installing software updates, and using unique passwords for each website and app. Additionally, parents can create a security plan for their children and make sure they know the importance of not sharing personal information.
If concerned about your child’s online activity, please talk to them. You can also contact a parent support group or child protective service for additional advice.
3.2 Controls for the operating system which are built-in.
- Parents should be aware that Windows has several built-in safety controls that can help keep kids safe online. These controls include:
- Windows Defender: This is a built-in security feature of Windows 8 and 10. It helps protect your computer against viruses, spyware, and other types of malware. You can find it in the Control Panel, under Security.
- Windows Hello: With Windows Hello, you can easily sign in to your computer using your face or fingerprint. You can locate the feature in the Settings app on Windows 8 or in the System Tray on Windows 10.
- Windows Security Center: This helps you keep track of the security updates for your computer and other important information such as the status of your AntiVirus protection.
- Windows Update: This helps you stay up to date on the latest security updates for your computer. You can find this feature under System and Security in the Control Panel.
- Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection: This helps you detect and block malicious threats before they can damage your computer. You can get this feature by purchasing a subscription from Microsoft.
- Child Safety Online Protection: This helps protect kids from online dangers such as dangerous websites, inappropriate content, and cyberbullying. You can get this feature by purchasing a subscription from Microsoft.
- Windows Live Family Safety: This helps keep your family safe by helping you manage passwords, blocking access to dangerous websites, and monitoring activity on your home network. You can get this feature by purchasing a subscription from Microsoft.
- Windows Update History: This feature helps you see what updates have been installed on your computer and when they were installed. You can find this feature under System and Security in the Control Panel.
iOS Online Safety Features For Kids
iOS also includes various online safety features that keep kids safe when using the Internet. These features include parental controls, content filters, and password security.
Parents can use these features to manage what their children see online, use safe websites, and help them create strong passwords.
Parental controls let you restrict which websites your child can access and how long they can spend on each one.
You can set time limits for each website, block specific categories of websites (for example, social media sites), and require passwords to access websites.
You can also use content filters to protect your child from inappropriate content. For example, you can set filters that block adult websites, violent content, or gambling sites.
You can monitor your child’s online activity using the iOS parental control features and then take appropriate actions if necessary. For example, you might ask your child to delete an inappropriate post or turn off their device if they have been inactive for a set period.
Password security is important for keeping your child’s online accounts safe. You can help your child create strong passwords by providing them with easy-to-remember guidelines and helping them practice creating passwords regularly.
3.3 Smart TVs and streaming content
Kids today are constantly plugged into their devices, whether it’s streaming music, watching YouTube, or gaming on their smartphones and tablets. Are they safe? And what about smart TVs and streaming content?
We have listed a few things regarding online safety for kids. The first is that no device is completely safe, as we have seen cases of children being injured by devices, and of course, there are also cases of child predators using the Internet to meet children. So always be mindful of who your child is talking to online, what they’re sharing, and whether they’re meeting people in person.
One way to keep your child safe online is to set up a parental controls account on their device. Restrict access to specific websites, disable certain features on the device, or even block specific applications. You can also set up restrictions for different devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.).
Another important way to keep your child safe online is to ensure they have appropriate content. TV shows and movies can often be inappropriate for young children, so it’s important to monitor what your child is watching and downloading. Set up filters on the home network to block all inappropriate content for your child.
Finally, it’s important to know what streaming content is available to your children. Many streaming services offer parental controls that allow you to restrict what your child can watch. You can also look for specific rating information before downloading or watching any content.
3.4 Online games and gaming consoles
Online games and gaming consoles are great tools for kids to get their hands on, but they can be even used for more than just fun. Here are some tips on ensuring your child is safe while gaming online.
- Set guidelines for gameplay. Make sure your kids know that they should not share their game progress with anyone and that they should never give away personal information such as passwords or other account information.
- Set up parental controls. If you have a computer or a gaming console in the home, be sure to set up parental controls so that you can keep an eye on what your kids are doing. It may include setting time limits, blocking access to specific websites, or requiring approval for certain activities before they occur.
- Educate your children about cyber-bullying and online safety. talk with them about cyber-bullying and why it’s harmful. Let them know that they can report any unpleasant experiences with others online to you or a trusted adult.
- Monitor your child’s online activity regularly. Be sure to check their internet usage regularly and look for any clues that they may be engaging in inappropriate or dangerous online activities. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, take steps to get your child help.
- Create a gaming policy. Make sure you have a gaming policy that outlines what your kids are allowed to do and how they are responsible for their online behavior. It will help to keep them safe while gaming and also help to enforce good online etiquette.
- Educate your kids about the dangers of downloading games from dodgy websites. Be sure to talk to your kids about the dangers of downloading games from dodgy websites. These sites may not have the same safety standards as official gaming sites, and your kids could end up with malware or other unwanted software on their computers.
3.5 Social Media
One of the biggest dangers a child can face is online. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are full of harmful content that can influence a child’s thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
To help keep your children safe online, follow these tips:
- Establish ground rules for social media use. Let your kids know what is allowed and what isn’t. For example, you might decide that they can only post pictures of themselves and their family, and they must use proper spelling and grammar.
- Monitor social media use regularly. Pay attention to what your kids are saying and doing on social media. If you see any inappropriate posts or activities, talk to them.
- Remove negative content from social media accounts. If you catch your kids posting hurtful or derogatory comments about other people, tell them to delete the content and refrain from posting such things in the future.
- Instill values in your children through social media use. Discuss topics like respect for others and healthy online habits with them before they start using social media. This way, they’ll be more likely to follow your guidelines for using social media.
- Talk to your kids about online safety. Let them know that you are always ready to talk about any issue if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe online. You can also install parental controls on their devices to ensure they’re not exposed to harmful content.
If the child has experienced any negative effects from online activity, don’t hesitate to seek help. There are resources to help people who have been impacted by online abuse or cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a problem that is on the rise for kids and adults. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, cyberbullying has increased by 200% in the past few years. Cyberbullying can be in many different forms, from sending mean tweets to spreading rumors online. Cyberbullying can be very hurtful and scary, especially for kids.
Talk to your kids about cyberbullying. Explain that it’s not okay to bully others online and that they should never send hurtfully or mean messages online.
Make sure your kids have access to a secure internet connection. Cyberbullies can target offline and online kids, so they must have a safe way to communicate no matter where they are.
Set some simple rules about internet use. For example, ask them not to share personal information such as their email address or phone number without permission. And make sure you teach them how to report any incidents of cyberbullying they experience.
Being aware of your child’s behavior is the best method to prevent or halt cyberbullying in its tracks. Many warning signals may appear:
- Experiencing mental distress when utilizing the Internet or the phone.
- Being overly guarded or secretive about one’s digital life
- They are spending much more time in their room than normal.
- Withdrawal from or disinterest in family, friends, and hobbies.
- Avoiding going to school or social functions.
- Grades are dropping, and children are “acting out” in rage.
- Mood, behavior, sleep, and hunger changes
- Wanting to turn off the computer or gadget all of a sudden.
- They may feel uneasy or jumpy when you get a text or email.
- Discussions concerning computer or phone habits are being avoided.
Stopbullying.gov has further information on how to stop bullying. You can also find help for your child on https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/cyberbullying.html in such cases.
3.7 Privacy and information security
The important thing that parents should understand is that their child’s privacy and information should always be kept safe and secure. Let us check out some utmost important measures to take on child safety online:
- Make sure you have up-to-date antivirus software installed on your computer, and this will help protect your computer from viruses and other malware.
- Always keep your child’s passwords safe. Never share them with anyone, and make sure they never leave their computer unattended.
- Educate the child about the dangers of clicking on links they don’t know or trust. Never share personal information such as email addresses or phone numbers without verifying that the site is legitimate.
- If you suspect that online predators have victimized your child, please take action right away by contacting the local law enforcement authority or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC provides a hotline for reporting incidents of online child exploitation (1-800-THE-LOST).
3.8 Online viewing of objectionable material
Parents are always advised to monitor what their children are viewing online. In today’s world, it is not only easy for children to access harmful or objectionable material online, but they are also more likely to do so than ever before. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of Internet users under the age of 18 have viewed something online that was inappropriate for their age.
Set appropriate boundaries for what your child can and cannot view online. It includes limiting what websites your child can access and checking the content of any websites they visit.
Tech-savvy kids will be able to bypass some parental controls, so be sure to teach them how to use different tools and filters available online.
Contact a trusted adult immediately if you see anything that makes you concerned about your child’s online safety. Several resources help parents keep their children safe online, such as the National Cybersecurity Alliance’s SaferNetInfo.org etc.
3.9 Predators online
We’ll look at the most dangerous and frightening internet menace in the final portion: internet child predators. One in every 25 youngsters has been approached for offline contact; 50% of online sexual exploitation victims are between 12 and 15. As per the US Department of Justice, 13 percent of kids with internet access have been the victims of unwelcome sexual approaches.
Kid’s safety is our utmost concern as parents, and therefore, preventive measures are very important for a safe online environment. We have laid down a few points for you to consider for online safety for kids.
- Create safe and strong passwords. Pick something easy to remember but difficult to guess. And make sure you never use the same password at more than one site. You can also use a password generator to create strong passwords.
- Stay up-to-date on online security threats. There are always new ways for predators to exploit children, so regularly check your browser privacy settings, install updated antivirus software, and keep your browser plugins up-to-date.
- Use social media with caution. Kids are especially vulnerable to cyberbullying and other types of harassment when using social media. Make sure that all your kids responsibly use social media, and talk about any potential dangers before letting them use these platforms.
- Teach your kids about digital etiquette. Show them the importance of being polite online and how to interact with others online properly. Educate them not to share personal information and be careful about what photos and videos they share online.
- Set boundaries with technology use. Let your kids know when they can use technology and how much time they can spend on screens each day. Don’t let them get bogged down by technology and disconnect from the world around them.
- Help your kids protect their online identities. Help them create and keep safe online accounts, set up parental controls on devices, and avoid disclosing personal information when signing up for services.
- Talk to your kids about online safety. Explain the risks and dangers of online predators, and help them understand how technology can be used safely.
Helpful resources: Check out the sites below to learn more about Internet safety for kids.
- OnGuardOnline: The Federal Trade Commission produced this site, including information for parents and games and films for children and teenagers.
- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s website includes videos for children of all ages and videos and advice for parents.
- WiredSafety: WiredSafety provides parents and educators with a wealth of information about internet safety.
- The Family Online Safety Institute includes a downloadable Family Online Safety Contract and other tools and suggestions for parents on their website.
- A Platform for Good, has information for teachers, parents, and teens.
- Microsoft Online Safety Information: The page provides Internet safety tips for individuals, families, schools, and businesses.
- Cyberbullying.org: This site, created by WiredSafety.org, provides information for children aged 7 to 17. This website has materials for children and teenagers and ways to discuss cyberbullying with parents.
- Common Sense Media: The website provides specific guidelines for dealing with children aged 2 to 17.
- Project It Gets Better: This website was formed due to teen suicides caused by bullying because they were LGBT. It has over 22,000 videos, many of which were provided by celebrities.
Children’s and adolescent’s websites
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children produced this site, which offers films tailored for various age groups. NetSmartzKids and NSTeens are both related to it.
- NetSmartzKids is a website with Internet security games for kids aged 5 to 10.
- NSTeens: This NetSmartz website is for tweens and adolescents aged eight to seventeen.
If your kid is in danger, who should you call?
Police in the area: You should dial 911 if your kid is in urgent danger. Otherwise, you can report an issue to your local police department’s non-emergency hotline.
CyberTipline: To report offenses against children, go to www.cybertipline.com/call (800) 843-5678, which includes internet seduction of minors for sexual actions, obscene material delivered to a kid, and pornography.
4. Final takeaways
Online safety is paramount to teaching your children. Please read through our guide, and here are a few easy tips to keep them safe online:
- Make sure your kids have a cyber security plan in place. It should include passwords for all devices, create a unique email address for each account, and ask them not to share personal information online.
- Set rules about what your children can and can’t do online. For example, they shouldn’t be allowed to access social media when they’re not at home and use their phones or computers while they’re at school.
- Make sure your kids know how to report any incidents or problems they may experience online. They can call family members or go to www.webhelp.org for advice.
- Encourage your kids to use online safety tools like mSafe. This app allows kids to monitor their online activity and see which websites have often visited.
- Discuss with them the dangers of online predators. Explain that there are people out there who will try to use your children to access their personal information or money.
- Help keep kids safe online by setting up parental control software like Net Nanny, Cyber Patrol, or Websense Parental Controls.
- Make sure your kids know that they can always call you or the police if they experience any problems online.
- Keep the computer updated with the latest antivirus software.
- Talk to your kids about reporting any suspicious activity or online threats to their parents or school officials.
- Make sure your kids know that they can always get help from a trusted adult if they need it.
- Be connected to the Internet to help if needed.
- Ensure that your kids are using caution when they’re online and avoid using any words or phrases that could be offensive or harmful.
- Keep your kids active and involved in activities outside of the computer. It will help them develop other social skills and interests, which will help them be safer online.
- Please don’t give your kids your passwords or let them use your computer without your supervision. You can use a password manager to store and create strong passwords.
- Be supportive and understanding when your kids make mistakes online, and remind them that you love them no matter what.
- Teach your kids the importance of taking precautions online and using common sense.
As parents, we want to do everything possible to safeguard our children from harm online. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean keeping them isolated from the Internet; it can be counterproductive. We hope the tips we shared for parents to ensure their kids are safe online while still allowing them access to the technology they need and enjoy will come in handy. Finally, it is important to have a conversation with your child about online safety. Discussing the risks and how to be safe online will help ensure that they have the best possible experience while online.
Learn how to stay safe online in this free 34-page eBook.