internet-safety-tips

Internet Safety Tips


With our young ones increasingly exposed to the internet, it is important to protect them in the online sphere. Many parents often underestimate the dangers of cyberspace and neglect this aspect of safety. But we need to realize that the advent of technology presents us with a new set of challenges – cybercrimes, cyberbullying, and web threats are proliferating. While technology brings endless benefits and convenience into our lives, it also makes it harder to control the type of content we are exposed to. 

With their lack of knowledge and experience, children are an easy target for malicious crime-doers and are way more susceptible to the dangers of the internet. Hence, there is a need for parents to incorporate internet safety measures in order to protect our little ones from these risks. 

So… how do we begin? 

Table of contents:

  1. Educate Your Child
  2. Limit Screen-time and Access
  3. Check-in on them
  4. Anti-virus Software

Tip 1: Educate Your Child

First of all, educate your child on internet safety as soon as they start using the internet. Before you can do that, you will need to familiarize yourself with the possible dangers of the web. Getting a comprehensive understanding of it enables you to warn and teach your child about internet safety in a more effective manner. 

Young internet users are more susceptible to internet crimes due to their lack of knowledge and gullibility. To prevent them from falling into the trap, parents have to step in and let their child know about the dos and (absolutely) don’ts. 

Teach your child to:

  • Never disclose any personal information (such as address details and phone numbers) 
  • Seek help if they encounter any doubt or trouble
  • Be aware of cyberbullying and other common cybercrimes (such as lottery scams) 

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Tip 2: Limit Screen-time and Access 

This is challenging even for adults, but all of us should be concerned with the amount of time we spend on the internet. Without setting a time limit on your child’s screen time, it can be especially easy for the young ones to develop a dangerous addiction to it. 

Not only does this pose a threat to your child’s health and development, but it also increases their risk of exposure to online dangers. Having unlimited time and access to the internet will provide your child with plenty of opportunities to explore the cyberspace. This can be a double-edged sword as it will make it more difficult to control the type of content they are exposed to. Being curious and fascinated by new things, your child may be tempted to access dubious websites or view harmful content. While it is important to trust and allow your child to take ownership of their online safety, it is also necessary to speak to them and set some ground rules about using the internet for specific purposes. 

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Tip 3: Check-in on them 

We know you can’t supervise your child all the time, and it is even harder to do so on the internet. What you can do is consider a Parent Control Software that allows you to restrict what are some websites you child may visit, and block those you deem inappropriate. 

You should also encourage your child to have an open discussion with you regarding their internet use. Show interest in what they are doing, and engage in a friendly conversation with them. Build trust and foster a closer relationship. This way, they will also be more willing to come to you if they encounter any problems as well.

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Tip 4: Anti-virus Software 

With the rise in malicious hacks and harmful viruses, you should install an anti-virus software system in all your devices, including your child’s. This will protect them from these cyber crimes which can come from untrusted websites or unknown web locations.

It is challenging for us to tell the difference between web sources, much less for children. Instead of finding out how to determine if websites are ‘dubious’ or not, it is more effective to install anti-virus softwares from reliable companies that include real-time scanning engine, firewall, and automatic software update. Conduct some research on which software would suit your device best, and put your mind at ease!

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References:

Rijnetu, Ioana. (2019, February 12). How to Keep Your Kids Safe on the Internet (10 Actionable Tips). Heimdal Security. https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/internet-safety-for-kids-10-actionable-tips/ 

Talking to Your Child About Internet Safety. (2018, December 13). CSA SG. www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline/go-safe-for-me/for-parents/talking-to-your-child-about-internet-safety

UNICEF. How to Keep Your Child Safe Online While Stuck at Home during the COVID-19 Outbreak. www.unicef.org/coronavirus/keep-your-child-safe-online-at-home-covid-19

Weeks, Clayton. (2019, February 19). What Kids Do Online May Surprise You. Internet Safety Tips for You and Your Child. AVG. www.avg.com/en/signal/how-to-keep-your-children-safe-online

8 Things Your Kids Shouldn’t Do Online. (2015, May 12). Panda. www.pandasecurity.com/mediacenter/family-safety/seven-things-kids-shouldnt-online/.