One of the biggest challenges parents and children face today is staying safe while being online. With the advent of social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, keeping your kids away from dangers like cyberbullying, harassment, inappropriate content and more might be harder than ever.
Statistics now say that kids are spending just as much time on computers (if not more) than they do at school. In fact, according to some sources, the average child in the United States spends 5 hours each day with some form of electronic media (television, laptop, PSP, iPad, Nook, etc.). So it begs the question — how can you protect your kids while they're online? Here are 5 basic safety tips on how you can teach your children about staying safe online.
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait to get your first email address? It was like getting a driver's license—it felt so cool and grown-up to have your own email account, where you could send messages to all of the friends you didn't want your parents to know about.
Well, now that you're an adult, those emails have probably been used to sell your information to a bunch of third-party companies who are keeping track of everything you do online. And that means they can use this information for their own purposes—like sending spam or trying to sell you things that you don't need or want.
When you have kids that are growing up in today’s world, you must teach them from a young age, the difference between public information and private information, how to handle it, and who they can share it with.
This is the most important thing you can teach your child. It's not just about telling your kids not to share their address, phone number, or other personal details—it's about teaching them that it's okay to ask questions about what they should and shouldn't share online. Kids need to be empowered to make smart choices about how they use social media and online services.
If they need to have a digital online backup for every important personal information, which nowadays is a must, make sure that they are doing so through the right platform and service, like HelpYouFind.Me, an online end-to-end encrypted safety tool to keep all of your most valuable information secured in one place, accessible only by you and those you choose to share it with, under rules you can set and change as you please. With HelpYouFind.Me you can share trip details like flight itineraries, hotel reservations, trip information, photos, and current location through the HYFM Telegram Bot. Find more about how this safety tool works wonders with families right here.
This is one of the easiest ways for parents to protect their children from harmful content on the web. A simple Google search for "how do I use filters on my computer" will bring up many different tutorials that will walk your child through the process of blocking certain sites from being accessed by their browser or by using parental control software if they have one installed on their device.
Teaching your kids how to use the Internet safely can feel like a daunting task. There are so many things to consider—and so many sites that don't have filters or parental controls in place. Luckily, there are some tools you can use to keep your kids safe online.
First, teach your children how to use filters in search engines like Google and Bing. By using these filters, they can limit the content they see while doing research or looking up information on the web. This is especially useful when they're searching for material that might be inappropriate or offensive, such as pornography or violence.
Another great way to keep kids safe online is through parental control settings on devices like smartphones and tablets. These settings allow parents to limit what their kids are able to access while using these devices—whether it's by age or by categories, such as games or social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Parents know that keeping their children safe is one of the most important things we can do. But when it comes to the internet, the task seems overwhelming. How do you keep track of all those new apps and websites that seem to pop up every day? And how do you make sure your kids are staying safe when they're on the web?
That’s why getting to know the apps and websites your child is using, is another great online safety tip. It's important that you're aware of what apps your child has on their device, as well as what they're doing with those apps. Don't just let them have free rein over what they're doing—take an active role in their digital lives! You might be surprised at how much fun it will be for both of you to explore together.
Once you've gotten familiar with what's out there, talk with your child about what they like about each app or site and what they don't like about it. Then ask them if there are any places where they feel unsafe on these sites or apps (for example; bullying). This way, if something does happen, you'll already be aware of it so that you can step in before things get worse!
And as we are touching on cyberbullying, you as a parent have to teach them what cyberbullying is and the importance on preventing it.
Cyberbullying is a serious issue, and it can have a huge impact on the lives of children by leading to emotional distress, depression, anxiety, and even suicide. It's important for parents to teach their kids how to recognize cyberbullying and how to respond appropriately.
Here are some tips for teaching your child about cyberbullying:
- Explain what cyberbullying is, and why it's so harmful. Teach them that all their words and actions have serious consequences, no matter how small they think they are.
- Talk about how cyberbullying can happen in different ways (text messages, social media posts, etc.).
- Discuss how you can help your child if they are being bullied on the internet. Let them know they can always report and talk about it to an adult.
Let's face it: children are not always good at reporting things when they are in trouble. But with constant reminders and role-playing, you can help them learn the right way to handle themselves when something bad happens online.
In addition to talking about reporting abuse, you should also talk about the other kinds of behaviors that are considered unacceptable on the internet—and offline! For example, bullying someone else or being mean because of their gender or race is never okay (and neither is posting photos without permission).
When talking with your children about online safety, make sure they know that if something happens on social media or their phone that makes them uncomfortable or afraid, they should get off of whatever platform or device immediately and tell an adult what happened.
Make sure your child knows where to go for help if something bad happens. They should also know that it's okay for them to tell an adult about anything that makes them feel scared or confused. Create the space for your child to trust you and feel safe when telling you this.
Make it a habit of letting your child know these safety tips so that they can stay safe online. The 5 tips we listed are meant to give you a foundation for teaching your children about online safety. Once again, keep in mind that each child is unique, and your situation may differ from others. But having these tools in place will hopefully help you out in any situation. You might be surprised to see just how much of an impact these tools can have on your child's online experience.
In teaching your child these tips and keeping watch as they explore the web, you're not only setting them up for success in a digital world but also giving them valuable experience that will serve them well as they grow older. Remember, the internet is a powerful tool and a great learning resource, but it can also be a dangerous place – be prepared to educate yourself and help your children in the best way possible.
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