With the number of social networking sites on the rise, it is important to make sure that the safety of your child is not at stake. If you have kids or teenagers at home, it is important that you teach them few basic rules of online safety as soon as they begin to use the Internet.
Teaching internet safety to kids is must as your children might feel threatened or upset, if they face any rude behavior or view some disturbing content. The following simple tips would help you to make sure that your kids are safe and secure while they browse the Internet.
Importance of Internet safety: These days, teenagers and kids who are on the verge of reaching their teenage stage, are much interested to use the Internet as there are zillions of information available for them at their fingertips.
Even though, it is good for them as in educational point of view, the Internet also has some explicit contents which are not ideal for your kids. Hence, it is essential for you to make sure that your kids don't fall prey to the 'predators' of the Internet. Here in this post we are going to share information about internet safety for kids and essential tips to follow to protect them.
Computer placing: Never set a computer in your kid's room. Place the computer in the living room or a common study room, as it would help you to see what your kid is browsing. Also, this tactic would lower the risk of your kids accessing those websites that have unsuitable materials. This setup would also help prevent your kids from having any unknown friends online, who might be from a criminal background.
Prepare a 'time' agreement: Whether it is for study or leisure purpose, usage of the Internet must be restricted on a daily basis. However, place the time limit for Internet usage based on the age of your kids and the class they are studying. You must also consider the list of subjects for which your kids need to be online to do their home work. Talk with your kids about this and arrive at an agreement and make sure that they stick to the rule every day.
Check what your kids post online: These days, social networking websites play a prominent role in your kids' life as it helps them to keep in touch with their loved ones and friends. But such social platforms also have a high risk of security when your kids share some pics or post which might reveal personal information about you. Warn your kids that they must not make any posts that have any details, which might hinder their privacy.
Don't click on ad banners or posts: Most companies follow online promotion to spread the word about their products or services. While some firms market their products in a genuine way, some scam companies also follow suit to gather the personal details of the online users. Tell your kids about these online scams and inform them that it can make them a cyber victim, if they click on it.
Opt for a high end security: These days, it is essential to get regular updates for your personal computer or laptop. Teach your kids that if they open any website or an email or click on a pop up window, it can cause a malware or spyware to download into your computer, and may even erase all vital data within a few minutes. This issue can be averted when your system has updated security software. Such software would install a firewall to prevent pop ups and refrain the trespassers from getting access to your PC. You must also tell your kids that they must not turn off the firewall option.
Shop at reputed websites: If your teenage kids love shopping online, make sure that they shop at reputed websites. Insist that they should not share trivial details such as credit card or debit card numbers, address of your home, bank details, etc. Make your kids realize that if the website is not a reliable one, then there are chances that these vital data can reach the wrong hands who can be cyber criminals.
Refrain from sharing vital info: When your kids are browsing a public website, instruct them not to use any personal email address of theirs, yours, their siblings, your office phone number or contact address. This is important as it would let other people know where you are working and can even put your career at stake. Inform your kids that cyber bullies would also misuse such information to create problems for your whole family.
Use a tougher password: Make sure that your kids safeguard their security with a protective password that is very tough to decipher. With a weak password, it becomes easier for hackers to invade your accounts. Hence, whenever they create an account online, ask your kids to choose a password with lowercase and uppercase to make sure that others do not decipher it. Also ask them to refrain from disclosing the password to anyone, online or offline!
Avoid meeting online friends: If you have teenaged kids, they would be making many online friends and eventually, one of them would express their interest to meet your kids. Do tell your kids to be wary of such people, as the person's pics that they see on the online site or the details that they know about them might not be true. Your kids, no matter how reliable their contacts might sound, must avoid such meetings.
Today, children are tech savvy and what's more, well-connected online with their family and peers, which also makes them vulnerable. Following these Internet safety tips for kids, which have mentioned above, would keep your kids safe when they are using the Internet.
The writer is an online activist & contributor at