In today’s world if you have children, chances are they have been on the internet.
Have you had the talk with your Kid? No, not that one, but the one about being safe online. Because within the last decade it has become a growing concern. This is because even apps targeted for Kids such as Youtube Kids, are filled with toxic content.
As a cyber-security expert Hamza Shahid quotes: "Parenting has never been more difficult honestly in this day and age. The online world and its ability to expose kids to toxic content is very alarming. As a worker in the cyber security industry, I adopt all precautionary measures to keep my children safe from the "bad" side of the internet. It's time other parents start doing the same too."
Life is not all sunshine over the internet, it requires parents to be educated to ensure they stay ahead of their child to protect their digital footprint. The following tips highlights how parents can stay vigilant and monitor their Kid’s internet usage:
- Does your child have social media friends on their list they don’t even know? If so, they have got to go. As accepting strangers is a risk.
- Does your child post things they should not? Do they know those things they post can last forever, even if they delete them?
- Encourage your kids to use privacy settings and to think twice before they share anything as they never know who will see it.
- Do they share too much information, about their name, age, location? Somethings should stay in the family.
- Online gaming can be one way that sketchy folks try to get private information from the kid, so be on guard.
- Teach your kids about using strong passwords. Ensure they use different passwords for every app, website or forum they access to. A great way to create a strong password is to use a passphrase, just make sure they don’t use music lyrics, personal information as they are easy to be guessed.
- Are your kids part of Cyber-bullying? (Mean spirited comments, creating mean images of another kid etc.) If not they might be a victim of it, help them recognize the signs and know they can report anything to you or another trusted adult.
- Get smart about smart phones. In addition to being able to access the internet, some apps can do more than they probably should.
- GPS can be very helpful for finding your way around or finding your friends, but it can also allow others to find you. Tell your kids to either limit these settings or make use of the best VPN service, to protect their Geo-location by masking their IP address.
- Also check out apps before you download them to make sure they won’t collect and share personal information. You can still check app permissions on your kids phone from the settings app.
- Eliminate all sexting! That is sending, forwarding or even saving, explicit photos, videos or messages from a mobile device. Sexting can do more than risking your child’s reputation and friendships; it can be illegal.
Finally make internet security a habit. Always use security software and firewalls even on mobile devices. And keep your operating systems and apps up-to-date. Teach your kids about phishing, malware, insecure WiFi and ensure you conduct regular internet safety talk with your child to increase your child’s online safety.