How to Keep Kids Safe Online
In this modern age and time, keeping kids safe online is a tricky business. For that parents also need to get a good grip of what actually goes around the internet. Internet without restriction is somewhat similar to letting your kid go alone to the streets after midnight but this also doesn’t mean that you don’t give them roam to explore the brilliance it offers. However, making your kid’s experience safe online is very significant. A kid’s safe browsing plan must be in place to ensure their safety.
Nowadays, kids are far more geeks of the internet than you are or were, with increasing number of online sites it is nearly impossible to not have an internet rather stupid. With that being said, these kids are also not aware of term viruses and serious ransomwares which have direct linkages to horrendous dark web sites. So their safety is always at risk and likewise ours is also in jeopardy. With addition to that it also includes risks of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying has become an even bigger problem in today’s time because social media platforms are available to everyone. For many people this becomes the place where they project their ill feelings and take out their frustration. Common forms of cyber bullying are hateful remarks, body shaming, racist remarks and homophobic comments. Such hurtful actions often lead to the kids self-doubting, lack of confidence, isolated behavior and generally a very introverted behavior to shield them from the wrath of more people. Usually this depression goes so far as to kids reverting to self-harm and eventually suicide. It has been reported by many studies that people having exposure to social media are highly susceptible to suicides. Their safety is always at stake while surfing the internet. Sadly enough, half of these deaths result as a lack of communication between the child and the parent. Keeping their kids safe from all kinds of harmful impacts is a parent’s foremost goal. Safety of a child comes first for every parent.
Correction starts at home always, so first of all you need to make some rules and take some steps for the betterment of your child and his own safety along with your household.
I. Communicate with them to ensure their safety
Communication is the key to solving any problems. In order to develop a kids safe environment remove the barrier of a parent to child relationship and make your kid your best friend. I understand that a parent needs to maintain a relationship as an authoritative figure at times but the safety of your child is more important than having it your own way. So allow your child to be open enough to highlight an issue if he’s facing one and not hide under bed covers. This will put you in a better position to help them and prevent any thing dangerous from happening. Thus keeping your kid safe.
II. Teach, Tutor and Instruct your Child to establish a kids safe environment
This should not be limited to the usage of the internet but why it needs to limited and why they need to be more cautious. They should be able to highlight a fraud or if some pedophile is trying to gain their trust on a social media site just to use it against them later. It may be very difficult but you draw analogy with the fact that they would never accept a candy or gift from a stranger in the park similarly the internet should also be treated as the recreational park of this new era. Safety is always at risk. Tell them all the things they would be exposing themselves to and how they can maneuver there smooth exit out of such situations. All are the responsibilities of a parent before letting their child out in the world of internet surfing. You should not only make a kids safe environment for you little one but teach your children to stand up if someone else’s safety is being threatened. A kid should be aware enough to make sure that his peers also remain if such check and balance lacks in their house.
Now that you have made sure that you and your child are both well-equipped and prepared for such situations we must get into how it is easier to avoid these situations and how can we shield our little one from the cruelty of online predators.
How can we protect children from online predators and maintain their safety?
Ensuring the safety of your child from the online predators is specifically very important. Sexual predators are most commonly found on the web and in many cases the predator is 60 year old man pretending to be a teenager to attract young girls. They charm their ways in with their usual predator behavior which goes unnoticed by kids. Discuss with them who a predator is and what kind of risky relationship they may develop with someone who they aren’t even sure is who he is pretending to be behind the screen. This behavior usually stats off from social media platforms that provide private chat options and an option for anyone to message you from around the world. Such platforms include; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Reddit, TikTok, Omegle, Tumblr, Wattpad, Fortnite and PUBG. Predators are present on all these platforms and not only should our daughter be taught to be cautious but sons too as the predators are sometimes even women or even pedophilic men. It may be a little surprising for parents to see a game they’ve considered to be safe present in this list. They not only threaten your child’s safety but everything associated to him is under the radar by the predator. Games such as Fortnite and PUBG operate by bringing together 4 people as team to fight against everyone else for the players ease it provides and in house chat and mic where you are allowed to talk with anyone which means that the formation of unlikely friendships is equally possible of being formed here. The real problem begins when these chats move to more private chat rooms where the child is usually asked to give out personal information or even send inappropriate pictures, they would sometimes be forced to do so by the way of emotional black mail or sheer pressure tactics.
There are some basic steps that parents may undertake to avoid and reduce the possibility of this situation where you child falls prey to a predator. A Kids safe environment is as important as having a proper diet in this time.
- Place your Computer in a family room or anywhere it is visible while in use to ensure a kids safe experience on the browser
This helps the parent to always know what their child is up to and deters the children from indulging into anything fishy due to the fear or presence of their guardian.
- Restrict Internet Usage
Usage can be restricted by using your service provider or apps that allow you limit use on certain devices. Control their web surfing activities.
- Use Parental Control Software’s
There are many options available to you. Some sites and apps offer their own parental control methods but there are also some independently operating sites and apps to allow you to restrict your child’s usage by blocking some content or a website all together and maintain the safety of your children.
- Teach them how to secure data
Teach them a little about cyber security and safety. As the time passes cyber-attacks are a serious concern and who else is an ideal bait than a 15 or 16 years old kid searching for free software’s and games online. Guide them about 2 steps verification and don’t let them download anything over internet unless it is really wanted. Let’s face it; most kids are lured into crime of cyber-attacks which results in stealing of their personal pictures and documents. And if your kids aren’t safe, your personal information isn’t safe either.
Tips for keeping your children safe online
Parental control is the most viable option for keeping your kids safe but that isn’t only associated to using software’s to get the job done. To ensure their safety you employ some real life changes.
- Set Time Limit
Limit the time he/she uses internet. Set discrete ground rules of when to use internet. After the school or before dinner time is said to be a good time for about 30 minutes or so.
- Monitor them
Keep them in sight when they are using internet and tell them to sit at the centralized location. Ask them what they are up to and encourage them to use the educational sites more but this doesn’t mean you stop them from having fun.
Let’s keep it real, if you only let your kids to have access over at the educational sites it will eventually make them curious and go the wrong ways. So it is better that you yourself let them access social sites and online games under your supervision but only after they have done their homework.
- Check History
Make it a routine thing to make sure you keep a check on your child’s web browsing history and if it’s missing then you’ve got something to be worried about. A Kids safe history would never have to be removed from browser history.
These are some ways to ensure that you are raising a safe web citizen and satisfying yourself too by keeping your kids safe. The only way a parent can truly help their child is by being involved in all of his daily activities. In addition to this a better alternative would be to find outdoor activities for them which will make them active and healthier.