As adults, we don’t need to be told that the Internet can be dangerous. At least once in our life, each of us has faced an attempt at network fraud, viruses that have damaged the computer, and received lots of spam every day. For that reason, it is essential to ensure that kids surf it safely.
One of the necessary measures to take is installing a quality antivirus with reach parental control features. As most antiviruses with parental control aren’t free, read professional and users’ reviews for those before paying for them. For example, you can like the innovative whitelisting approach mentioned in this review: bestantiviruspro.org/review/pc-matic-review/. However, such a solution may have no parental control.
In this regard, cybersecurity of your kind requires a lot more effort, so let’s approach it from the top.
What Online Threats Are There For Kids
Before all, you should understand that there is a vast majority of suspicious elements on the Internet that can harm a person’s file or device, especially of a young kid. Here are the basic ones:
- viruses and other malicious programs – they can permanently disable not only the child’s gadget but all devices on the home network;
- age-inappropriate content – you are not always there to close the explicit video in time or notice that the site contains frightening pictures, aggressive messages, etc.; And it is a significant issue according to parents’ opinion.
- scammers – new schemes of online fraud appear daily; the most common are phishing (gaining access to user logins and passwords), deception on ad sites, clarification and further use of personal data;
- trolls – there are enough i’ll-intending people in the world, and the Internet gives them anonymity and medium to reach vulnerable audiences;
- mental health risks – the glossy, ideal life that many of us demonstrate on social pages can become a reference point for a child, particularly adolescents with not entirely shaped identity, harming their self-esteem, and distorting their picture of the world.
As soon as you give your child your smartphone to watch a cartoon on YouTube, or play an interesting online game, make a note to yourself to discuss the rules of safe online behavior with your child.
How to Teach Your Kid To Be Responsible Online
Notably, the significant risks can be prevented by developing discipline and specific rules. Let’s look at the most important ones:
- First, do not leave your child with the Internet alone. Show them not only to use a tablet or smartphone but also to avoid downloading suspicious files, clicking on random links, or all advertising banners.
- If the child is still little, come up with a digestible cautionary tale about an evil character from the Internet, such as a nasty virus, and explain the online threats that it brings.
- An older child can already understand the threats of the Internet in a serious, non-fairytale conversation, so you should discuss the situations some people you know faced and how these situations were resolved.
- When discussing generic safety topics with your child (traffic rules, rules of conduct in a public place, rules for communicating with strangers, etc.), supplement them with network safety rules.
- Search kids YouTube for age-appropriate online safety training videos. If your child is attending paid coding classes, invite the teacher to bring up safety in class.
- Establish ground rules. If necessary, write them and hang them anywhere your child can see the list. Make sure your kid remembers to register on sites and in social networks only under made-up names; never share personal information (data of parents’ passports, address, and phone number) and payment information (parents’ card credentials or CVV codes); not to upload photos without your approval (at least at first); not to make online purchases without your supervision.
Children nowadays are exposed to technology and the Internet much earlier than the older generation was. Naturally, they find their way around those quicker and sometimes even outgrow us in it. Nonetheless, parents must provide and teach them basic safety so that they don’t have to learn it the hard way.
Written By Nathan Collier
ABOUT Nathan Collier I started out as a journalist, one of the first ones to ever write about cybersecurity. I’ve been writing about antiviruses for his entire life and working with some of the biggest names, helping them bring their products closer to the average users. Education: The University of Georgia, Print, Broadcast and Electronic Journalism. Working experience: 7 years in Georgia local news. Hobby: Baseball, cyber security