As a parent, you want your children to have safe online experiences. While it’s difficult to control what your children do online, you can help them benefit from the opportunities the web has to offer while avoiding the dangers that can be found there. Here are 5 Internet Safety Tips for Parents that you should consider using. These guidelines are for your child’s own good, and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.
Passwords are a major source of security concerns. Nearly half of all data breaches are caused by weak passwords. To help prevent this problem, make sure to use strong passwords that are not easy to guess. Choose a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as symbols and numbers, and never use the same password for multiple accounts. Keep passwords to a minimum of 12 characters – an eight-character password is easily deciphered by code-breaking programs. You should also use two-factor authentication, which enables your child to sign up for online services only after you confirm their identity.
When you’re teaching your children about internet safety, parents are the most important people to influence their children’s behavior online. Educators have regular contact with parents and can offer valuable advice to protect their children. The key messages below can be used as the basis of a discussion with families. For a poster that can be distributed in the school, there are instructions on how to deliver the message. And, as always, be sure to use a secure internet connection.
While your children may not be old enough to sign up for social networks, older siblings can help by supervising them. It’s also important to teach them about privacy and online safety. Children should never give out their name or other personal information on public forums. They should also be careful not to accept friend requests from strangers, because some of these may be spam bots, or worse. Likewise, never let your child post his or her personal information without your permission.
Never let your children meet their online friends offline. While it may be tempting to meet up with their friends, it’s best to keep this private. This way, they won’t expose themselves to any kind of danger. Make sure to inform a trusted adult of their plans to be safe. If the situation is too big, they can approach you and get help for the situation. When children are young, they’ll be more receptive to learning about the dangers of the internet.
Always monitor your children’s online activity. Make sure they don’t click on suspicious websites or click on catchy headlines. If they do stumble upon pornography, immediately switch the computer off and get an adult. Do not try to click on more buttons to see more of the content because this will only lead to more exposure to it. They should also be aware of who their online friends are. If you have an adult who is over the age of 12, you can teach your child how to stay safe online.
Discuss your child’s online activity with them regularly. Make sure they know what websites are off-limits and what are not. Encourage them to report any problems and help them navigate digital dilemmas. Parents should not be harsh on their kids by taking away their devices. According to Dr. Joanne Orlando, using technology as a punishment may be harmful to their health. Also, set limits for the time they spend on screens. Ultimately, these 5 Internet Safety Tips for Parents can prevent your children from putting themselves in danger.
Explain to your children about the positive aspects of the internet. It’s OK to meet new friends online, but you shouldn’t do so unless you’ve given your approval first. When a child does meet a stranger, always make sure they have a fail-safe plan in place to call home and tell them about the meeting. It’s also important to teach your children to be critical of information they find online.
Discuss with your child the dangers of online bullying and harassment. Remember, it’s common for those who harass others online to become the victim of their own abuse. Encourage your child to be honest and respectful online and encourage them to follow the Golden Rule. If they ever encounter any online bullying, don’t respond directly to the bullies. Instead, block them or report them to an adult who can help. When a child feels uncomfortable talking about strangers, parents should remind them that this can have serious consequences for their reputation and future.