Why is Internet Safety Important?
The Internet has made our life easier by connecting all of us and making the world a global village. With the advancement of technology, there evolved some bad points too along with so many benefits of the Internet. Today, a major problem in our society is Internet Safety. Tech experts will guide you with many possible ways about how your child can be trapped. These are numerous and can’t be eliminated but controlled. However, as a parent, you are responsible for the internet safety of your child. Parents who are aware of the severity of the problem and are trying their best to control it, are in the benefit of saving their child from so many problems.
Internet safety of your child is very important because if you neglect it, your child might end up himself or herself in a serious problem. It is important, and you must not neglect it. So, what are these problems and how to save your child from them? This is a vast topic and includes various types of scams, fraudulent activities in it. Let’s discuss them in detail below and look for safer browsing for your child.
Children and Internet: The Problems and Scams
When we were young, mobile was something that was out of our reach. Only one parent used it and was handed over to us only when there was any related call. Nowadays, a child starts using mobile phone and internet from a very young age. Baby cartoons are specially meant for kids under 5-year age and kids play these games on their own. So, there are so many problems associated with children using the internet. Some of them are:
Number 1 problem of children using the Internet is certain scams. They are mostly found in Google and Facebook inboxes. Scam 419 inherit back to the arrival of the internet because they are from the very start. In this type of scam, someone tells you a sad story and asks for some money to help them transfer the amount to your bank account as a fee. Kids, as well as adults, are victims of these types of scams. You help them once, and they ask for a fee every time as long as you pay; and disappear soon after you stop paying them. Children don’t have much awareness and they are often trapped as they try to either help the needy person or try to help their family financially. This one and many other type scams, lottery frauds are their traps for kids.
Stolen Financial Info
When you use online banking, which is very common all around the globe nowadays, you know that your bank account is only at a distance of a single username and password. If these ever got in hands of some wrong person, he/she can easily get all the amount in your bank account. If you have kept your passwords in your PC, any hacker will get into it through misleading links or pages and get this info. Unaware internet users are hackers first love and kids are their favorite prey. In Asian countries, card cloning or stealing electronic data of your ATM card is very common and in India alone the complains number in dozens. Kids can also be trapped by some sweet strangers and asked for important financial information.
Injection of different types of viruses is the favorite by-product of the internet. This is the biggest problem nowadays especially when you download something from the web. They are difficult to avoid because the internet is full of them and antivirus programs can’t compete with their advances. When you download any file from the internet, there are a lot of viruses too that come as uncalled guests. Children are a common victim because they download many video games from the internet which are soft prey to viruses. A strong virus can install itself into the hard drive of the computer and makes several copies of itself unless you try to delete it. At that stage, it will be difficult to eliminate the virus.
In the modern era, kids find it a pleasure to meet new people. They have a natural attraction towards knowing new people and then making them friends. Attraction towards the opposite gender is something that can’t be denied. Dating apps are also very common that let you to meet strangers from all over the world (a town in this case). This makes it very hard to identify whether the person is real or fake and whether he has some bad intentions towards your child or not.
Scammers are using this method for long to endanger your kids’ safety. They trap the victim in friendship or love net, and when the prey fell in it, they sometimes loot the person or in the case of a child, may kidnap the child. Some strangers also ask for money and pretend that there is some accident or event for which they need the money urgently. An unaware person will easily fell prey to these traps.
This is also one of the most common issues nowadays. The web is full of sexually explicit content. This type of content, that was once difficult to get, is now freely available everywhere. In many educational websites too, this is present in the form of Google Ads. So, it is highly recommended to save your child from this type of inappropriate content. If he/ she sees this content at an early age, it will have a wrong effect on the child lately.
Internet Safety Tips For Kids: How to Protect them
There are a lot of problems when your child has full access to the internet. While it is dangerous for his life, there are also a lot of financial problems associated with it. A kid may click on certain links and cost you hundreds of dollars in terms of bills or cash transfers. So, you must be very careful when giving your child internet access to protect them and making the internet safe for your child. Here are some methods discussed which will guide you in keeping your child away from all sort of problems:
Educating your child about problems is very important. Don’t make the child scared of using tech but inform him/ her of the problem in a moderate way. There is a lot of education material available online that will be helpful to you in this regard. You must teach your child about the problems according to his level. For example, teach a young kid of the security problems only, however, an elder kid must know what to share and when to share and must be guided accordingly.
Keep your child aware of all the modern trends and remind him of time to time that in case of any problem, you are the first person to contact and share a problem with. Teach the child more and more things with the growing age, so as he/ she becomes mature, all the cybersecurity will stick in his mind. This leads to a better experience overall. Remember, cybersecurity awareness is not a one-time process and you need to check your child once every month.
Use strong passwords and monitor them
Nowadays, there are a lot of programs and each of them ensures that it is the best one to protect your privacy. There is a lot of software for kids friendly browsing. However, your main password is the first line of defense against all scams. Keep strong passwords on all of your accounts i.e. bank account, social media accounts, etc. Write them in some safe place, mostly preferred in physical form, and keep changing them from time to time. A password management system might be helpful in this regard. It will help you in memorizing passwords and changing them from time to time.
Always change your passwords from time to time. This makes it difficult for hackers to hack these new and strong passwords. Also, never entrust your personal details to any random person. These details can be used against you anytime. In case of any mishap, immediately change your password. Use two-step encryptions wherever applied. Teach your kids too that never ever share their passwords with anyone.
When discussing problems and scams, we mentioned about 419 scams. These are getting more and more advanced and are using new accounts every time. They are on the internet for more than 15 years and still, there are a lot of people who are ignorant of these. Scammers sometimes attack their targets by sending mass emails to marks. Gmail is usually smart enough to mark those Emails as spam and place them in a separate folder, so you don’t need to invest in any special software. You need to search more and more about the latest Email scams and teach your child about all the scams which you think may be related to him/her.
When monitoring the social media accounts of your child, you can adopt any of the two methods described below. The first one is to reserve the right to check his/ her account regularly. This way you can see yourself about whom your child interacts with and what level of interaction this is. It is also helpful in other matters apart from cybersecurity. If you don’t find it useful to check your child’s social media accounts, another useful method is to keep an open relationship with your child. You need to give your child the confidence so he/ she will share each and every gossip with you. Thus, you always know if any strange thing happens with your child and direct him/ her accordingly to act upon it.
Keep the latest security features
Internet security is not that much simple as it seems. If you are using any Antivirus, you need to update it as soon as there is some update available. This is because there are so many new types of viruses and your Antivirus program needs the latest security features to tackle them. Check for updates about cybersecurity so you will know what is going on in this field. These updates are released all around the world. If your child can understand, teach him/her what the virus is and how to ensure safety from them with the help of the Antivirus program.
Close old accounts
Many people create more than one account for any platform. This is common in adults and kids as well. A new account is created for various reasons and we usually ignore the first account after creating a new one. It is necessary to close your old accounts when you are no longer using them. This is because they receive a lack of attention and may be prone to any hacker attack. They are a gold mine of personal info for an attacker because they might have your important data. On the other hand, it is also seen that we forget account passwords of old accounts and as a result, lose access to them. So, it is good to copy any important data and close them yourself.
Your kids’ safety is also associated with it. Teach them what to keep, what to delete and what to close. Inform them of the bad points and advice to always close the old accounts. Just keep the active accounts, give them full security attention, and manage their security by using any software. It will be good if you enable two-step authentications for your active most account. Thus, security is ensured.
Keep your financial details personal
Your financial details are your secret most information. These include your account number, FPIN, ATM card details and its pin code, username and password for online banking and other related data. You should never tell these details to any stranger. A child is most exposed to a stranger and they have many ways to leak info from a child. This is why you must also avoid informing your kids of any details. If your child wants to buy something online, it is recommended to buy it for him/ her and don’t share bank details with the child. Doing the purchase on your PC will also be good so that the child’s PC doesn’t receive any traces of important info. In this case, if any hacker, by chance, gets into your child’s PC, he will still don’t cost you much.
Use kid-supportive browsers
As discussed earlier, showing inappropriate content to your child is a big issue and has a bad impact on your child. For this reason, there are many child-friendly browsers available that show only suitable content for kids. They are real internet but hides anything that is not suitable for children. You should also install a good Adblocker to block irrelevant ads. These ads often show nudity or contain viruses that may harm your child’s online experience.
Call support anytime you need
Many times we see any suspicious activity and we ignore it. You should not do it. If you find anything wrong with your PC, or your kid informs you of anything, it is better to call customer support urgently and ask them to clarify the matter. As said, precaution is better than cure.
Internet safety tips
The Internet is a good thing to use for kids. Kids take the help of the internet for their assignments, any new research, for spending their leisure time in quality fields, reading some comics or moral stories and much more. However, there are some hazards too of kids using the internet. Parents look for kids’ safety and here are some internet safety tips to consider:
- Teach your child never to tell his/ her personal info to any stranger. These include passwords, full name, home and school address, school name or any sensitive info.
- Never let any stranger talk freely to him/ her. Always keep a distance in an online Limit the person and inform parents about the same.
- Tell him to avoid meeting strangers from the internet. If someone on any social media platform asks you to meet, always involve an elder into this matter.
- Never visit any immoral site. These sites are a major source of virus injected into the PC and you might fall into some serious problem.
- Tell the child that whenever posting your pictures, ask you first if these pictures are ok?
- If you are planning some family outing, guide the children never to inform some stranger about the plan, the venue, and other details. This might turn very dangerous.
- Keep an open relationship between you and your child. Ask them to tell you in case they don’t understand anything and don’t seek help from strangers.
- Ask your child that if someone asks you uncomfortable questions, don’t answer them and immediately inform your parents.
Internet Safety For Students
Internet safety for students of higher age is more or less, the same. However, as students grow age-wise, there has more responsible. Students must follow what their teachers and other seniors guide them.
As a first, students are keen to inform others about what they think about a specific subject. This might hurt someone else’s sentiments. So, students must learn to be as respectful to others as possible. When they play online games, keep it safe by playing from only reputed websites. Some websites will ask you to install specific software that may contain viruses. When you video chats with someone, ensure that there is no danger in it. Never inform any stranger about your education details. Students should also consider the term “cyberbullying.” This is a serious thing and many students either follow it or are prey to it. Cyberbullying refers to bullying someone or spreading hatred comments on someone on the internet. There are strict laws for it in many countries and one needs to be careful when contacting others.
Students must inform their teachers about any problem they face. Many times, they find it difficult to inform parents about any problem because of shyness or fear to be scolded, so the teacher is the ideal person to involve in your problems.
Children are the most important asset of a parent’s life and a parent always wish to keep their child safe. You can monitor his/ her physical life in so many ways, but when it comes to the usage of the internet, there are many new things to consider. I hope that you find this guide helpful, it covers a lot of aspects of this subject. In the first part, I mentioned all the problems children face when they go online. In the second part, there were several solutions recommended for the problem. If your child loves going online, it is good because he/ she will learn so many new things and will be exposed to a whole new world of creativity. You just need to ensure a suitable online environment for your child.
The tips which I mentioned separately are of keen importance. Aware of your child and help him learn all these tips. Check for whether he/ she is following these tips or not. If you need further suggestions, please let us know. Remember, you must keep an open relationship with your child. Give your child the confidence to tell you each and every secret and don’t hide gossips, secrets or other things from you. A problem only arises, when a kid tries to solve it on his own and there start threats to kids’ safety. When you follow all of these points and other precautions too, your kid will remain safe in this online jungle.