Top Online Safety Tips for Kids and Teens
Today, it’s hard to keep kids away from the internet. Going online has become essential for learning, staying in touch, entertainment, and much more for kids starting from a very young age. But while there is no denying that the internet can be very useful for education and learning, it can also be a dangerous place for young children to be. Around one in five children who use the internet have been victim of sexual solicitation, and even more kids have stumbled across adult material while browsing the web. Naturally, this information can make many parents feel apprehensive about allowing their kids access to the internet. Here’s what you can do to make it safer for your kids.
Parental Control Apps:
Today there is a wide variety of different parental control apps and software packages that you can use to control what your child sees online. They are often highly personalized and will allow you to set different rules for different users, so that you can be stricter with what younger kids can see compared to teenagers, for example. If your child has their own smartphone, you can also get parental control apps that not only allow you to block any adult material from appearing when using the smartphone, but you can also block your child from being able to download certain apps and find their location using GPS, which is always handy for parents of kids who are starting to spend more time with friends.
Talk About Cyberbullying:
Cyberbullying is often one of the biggest problems that kids face when they use the internet. A huge percentage of children and teenagers have been victim to harmful bullying online, either by people that they know or total strangers. It is important to speak openly with your child about cyberbullying, what to do if they see it happening or it happens to them, and why it’s important to make sure that they don’t take part in this kind of behavior.
Around 60% of teenagers have received unsolicited messages from strangers online. And with thirteen being the minimum age for most people to join popular social networking sites, this problem is getting bigger and bigger. If you have a teen who wants to use social media, it is important to set ground rules about keeping their profile private and only allowing people that they know to contact them. However, some users can slip through the cracks, which is where background checks can come in handy. Nuwber can help you verify if your teen is talking to somebody who is genuine, or somebody who has sinister motives.
Most parents of teenagers will agree that telling your teen not to do something probably means that they are more likely to do it behind your back. With many teens, open communication with them tends to work best, since they will feel more comfortable to share things with you pertaining to their online experience, and more likely to let you know if they receive a strange message or see something that has upset them online. Give your teen the right amount of freedom and independence and trust them to make their own decisions when using the internet, while making sure that they know you are always there for them to talk to if they come across something upsetting or are worried.