6 Tips for keeping the kids safe from online
1. Set an example of internet safety for kids
An example is often the best way to show your kids how to maintain their internet safety. A long lecture will probably be less effective, so let your actions speak louder than words.
- Do I overshare on social media?
- Am I checking my phone very often, especially during family time?
- Does my child understand that online security is important to me?
- Am I giving specific advice and being proactive when it comes to safeguarding my child and their devices against threats?
2. Know your stuff for internet safety
Your kids look up to you, so educate yourself first. Keep up to date with internet scams and threats, since they’re constantly evolving. You’ll know what you’re up against and how to defend your kids from the internet.
Top 4 scams aimed at children:
Here are the top 4 to look out for:
- Identity theft
- Always check your mail
- Online gaming
3. Protect your kids from social media
With kids as young as 5 equipped with iPhone’s, social media has replaced a lot of physical interaction, making the internet their new playground. However, that brings with it many new internet safety for kids concerns
- Educate yourself about social media for internet safety
- Establish an age limit for your child to start using social media. …
- Regularly check your child’s privacy settings.
- Keep your child’s profile private for internet safety.
- Make sure they’re not posting personal details, including phone numbers, address, or check-ins.
- Decide who can see your profile, message you, and comment on your posts.
- Report hurtful comments, messages and inappropriate photos and request for them to be removed and, in severe cases, close down a malicious account.
- Unfriend or completely block people from seeing your profile.
- Disable comments on your Instagram page altogether.
- Hide your posts and stories from specific people for periods of time.
4. why privacy matters for internet safety
It’s important to explain to your kids why internet safety matters, using real-world examples and giving context to your concerns.
Online privacy matters now more than ever. When details as trivial as a street name or family connection are broadcast, attackers can piece together your identity and use it to commit fraud or stalk you in real life. As a parent it’s imperative to discuss how dangerous it can be to share your personal information on the Internet.
To begin, define what personal information is:
Your address, Social security number, Phone number, and Account credentials.
Next, explain how their personal information can be used against them:
- Never post in real-time. Sharing your family’s vacation pictures on social media is a clear sign that nobody’s at home.
- Phishing scams. Beware of unwarranted emails from recognised companies, asking for their details to reset their account, for example.
- Password theft. Weak passwords can easily be guessed, even stronger ones are prone to brute force attack. Hackers can use their login details to break into other accounts and sell their details on gaming platforms or the dark web.
5. Create strong passwords
When your child wants an online account of any kind, you should introduce them to the concept of password security Their password should be strong, complex and unique.
The do’s and don’ts of creating a new password:
- Make it strong using at least 8 characters, including lower-case and capital letters, numbers, and special symbols.
- Never include your personal information (name, birthdate) in your password.
- The less your password resembles an actual word, the better.
- If you want to use dictionary words, replace some of the letters with numbers or special characters.
How to keep passwords secure:
- Memorize your passwords, or use a good password manager. Never write them down.
- Keep passwords secret (kids love secrets, so this is an easy one!)
- Change them regularly.
- Don’t use the same password for different accounts.
6. Why free public Wi-Fi is dangerous
It’s hard not to fall for free public Wi-Fi. From coffee shops to universities, shopping centres and train stations. It’s everywhere. The problem is public networks are not safe and your information or device can be intercepted as quickly as it takes to connect.
Tell your kids that they’ll probably shrug it off with the old ‘It’ll never happen to me attitude. After all, using public Wi-Fi saves your mobile data. Luckily, the danger can be avoided instantly- by using a VPN.