What Parents Can Tell their Kids About Online Safety
Parents cannot supervise their children’s online activities all the time. That’s why it is important for children to learn about online safety. Let us take a look at some of the things parents can tell their kids about online safety.
1. Think Twice
Kids, especially teenagers have the tendency to go wild while using the Internet. They act on impulse and do not think about what they say, who will see it or what it might say about them. This kind of behavior is quite dangerous. Recklessness on online platforms and websites can add much undue stress and emotional drain for not only the reckless person but for those around them as well. A poor online reputationÂ can ruin a child’s chances of being admitted to a good college and even securing a good job. In the same way, responsible online behavior can open up more opportunities for your child to have a better future. By understanding that online activity is something that can be used in positively advantageous ways, the kids will learn how to safely use the Internet.
2. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is everywhere. It is almost impossible to move from one place to another without coming across public Wi-Fi. Wireless Internet access can be found in restaurants, stores, or airport terminals. What happens is that whenever we connect to a network that we do not own, then that network administrator now has the ability to see all of the information that is being passed back and forth from their Wi-Fi access point to the outside world. A device that is set to automatically connect to open networks could connect to one of these without the phone user knowing. Bad guys disguise their open network with familiar names, so never connect to a network that you do not have the password to and that you do not trust.
3. Deleting online content can be very difficult
Once content is posted online, it can be very difficult to delete it completely. This is because online content can spread rapidly within a short period of time, making it impossible to know how many copies have been shared. Every time a child posts anything online, they should be careful not to do anything that they might regret in future. Social media platforms are the places where most kids tend to go overboard while giving their opinions. They should understand that whatever they write is not something that is behind closed doors. Everyone can see anything that is posted on Facebook. Even if they try to send something to a select number of people, there is no guarantee that the information will not be duplicated or shared with unintended recipients.
4. Keep identity private
The Internet is not the place to broadcast personal information and sensitive details about one’s personality. It is important that kids understand this crucial detail. Even if the information seems small and irrelevant, a picture or a mention of something familiar is all it takes to accidentally say or share too much. Information such as the names of family members, school names, residential areas, home address and much more can be used by any number of bad people with bad intentions. It is therefore important for kids to understand the importance of keeping their identity, location and personal life as private as possible online.
5. Update passwords and software
Passwords should be updated regularly. Parents should show their kids how to set strong passwords and remind them to change the passwords on a regular basis. Regular updates of passwords makes sure that passwords saved on old or public computers and devices will expire regularly as well.
As for software, updating software to the latest version and installing the necessary purchases is something that should be done on computers and devices for anyone of any age. Software updates to the computer’s operating system and the software that is used on it is an important part of maintaining the computer so that it is not prone to making mistakes. Finding out the process for updating any software or operating system varies depending on the operating system, but a quick search will show that the process is very simple and can save a lot of time and money later on.
6. Never talk to strangers
The Internet makes it easy for strangers to talk to one another. Most of the time, we do not talk to the people we meet online face to face unless we already knew them before we met them online. However, the number of people who meet strangers online before meeting them in person is increasing on a daily basis. The same amount of caution and some would argue that even more caution should be used whenever meeting someone online. Because it can be difficult to know for sure who is on the other side of a computer screen, even adults must have a good system in place for meeting strangers in a way that does not compromise safety. Parents should tell their children not to speak to or keep contact with strangers online. This may lead to many unwanted contacts with your child that can be avoided. Kids should also be told not to meet with persons they talk to online in person without a parent’s approval and supervision.
Online safety is as important as any safety rule that is known in the real world. The Internet has provided many positive results for humanity as a whole by allowing us to connect and share information at our fingertips from anywhere at any time. But along with these advancements in technology have also come some negative and dangerous situations that can be avoided by staying alert and keeping good rules in mind when it comes to online activities.