Internet Safety for Kids and Parents: 20 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Internet Safety for Kids

The internet brings a wealth of information that can help our lives. But it also has a lot of disadvantages that can harm us and the people we love if we are not careful enough.

Kids today can access more information than any generation before. Tablets, laptops, and smart devices are common at school and home. We cannot just tell them not to use it since it’s a necessity and part of the learning, especially now that it’s safer to learn everything online due to the Pandemic.

You want your children to have access to information, but you also want them to be safe. How can you get both things?

Here are some Internet safety tips for your kids:

Tip #1: Educate and Talk to Your Kids about it.

Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

There was this creepy advice: “If you don’t talk to your kids, someone else will.” When it comes to cybersecurity, your children are often one of your family’s weakest links.

The first internet safety for kids tip is to warn them about malware, dangerous websites, and sex offenders. Let your kids know you’re looking out for them, speak honestly with them, and don’t forget to listen as well. Encourage them to ask for help if something seems unusual.

Tip #2: Know Your Kid’s Passwords

If you’ve got a younger kid, don’t use their real name to make an account for them. You can use yours or maybe use a nickname. Tell them that you will be checking their accounts from time to time as respect. Don’t spy on your kids’ accounts without their knowledge.

Tip #3: Check Your Children’s Browser History

Check your kid’s web history in every browser they could use. Look at their recycle bin as well if there are deleted files that they are trying to hide.

Tip #4: Teach Them Why Their Identity is Important

Your kid’s identity is as valuable as yours, sometimes more. Cybercriminals can trick kids into disclosing their Social Security Number and other details to commit identity theft. Remind them not to reveal too much information about themselves like their birthdate, address, and SSN.

Tips #5: Use Parental Blocks

Parental blocks are useful to keep your kids away from illicit content. Your browser could have any free options available.

Here’s how to turn on parental control on Google Play:

In Chrome, you can set parental controls.

To set parental controls on Chrome, you can turn on SafeSearch, which filters explicit results out of Google searches. For more parental controls, you can also set up Google Family Link to monitor and limit screen time. You could also block websites in Chrome using a browser extension.

Alertness and strategy will always trump technology when it comes to protecting your children.

Don’t give your kids the administrator access to your computer.

No one can expect perfect security no matter how much they want it. Still, in some cases, privacy and security breaches are preventable with the right measures and protections in place.

Tip #6: Remind Your Children to Never Talk to Strangers or Meet Them

Make them understand that they cannot make everyone online a friend. Tell them that people there often lie about their age, and online predators often pretend to be children. Accentuate that your children should never reveal personal information like their name, address, phone number, school name, SSN or even their friends’ names.

Knowing any of this could help an online predator find your kid in real life. And under no circumstances should your child ever meet up with someone they met online without your permission. If you do agree to a meeting, go with your child and meet in a public place.

Tips #7: Know that You Can Never Be 100% Private Online

Even if your settings are set to private, it’s not 100% ‘private’. Also, the so-called private browser is not private. Law enforcement, website administrators, internet service provider, employer or school and hackers could have access to your so-called private information.

More websites and apps are collecting information now for advertising and marketing purposes. Most of them have privacy policies which disclose that the apps/website collect and share their users’ information. Only a few read these policies and usually just accept the terms.

Tip #8: Teach Your Kids About Phishing Scams

Teach your kids about phishing and warn them not to click on URLs in an email or social network message. Install and use a security program that recognizes and blocks dodgy URLs.

Tip #9 Update your Antivirus and Security

Internet Safety for Kids

Cybercriminals are continuously coming up with new threats. You should always have the latest security updates and patches. Keep yourself and your family informed about new ways cybercriminals are doing business. Stay current and follow the news for any breaking threats.

Tip #10: Don’t Let Your Kids Use the Computer or Their Gadgets Alone

Internet Safety for Kids

Make sure your kids aren’t going to bed with their laptops and phones. Tell them to use their gadgets or computer somewhere you can see them. Make it family time. Watch movies together; you can browse the internet together or guide them to the websites that are more appropriate to their age.

Tip #11: Pay Attention to Your Kids Behavior

Pay attention if they are receiving gifts from unknown people. Sexual predators may send physical gifts to your children to seduce them. Watch if they suddenly become more secretive on what they do online when they use it their gadgets more withdrawing from the family.

Tip #12: Set Rules and Stick to Them

Limit your kids’ time to use their gadgets—set boundaries for illicit and unsuitable content. Make sure your children will follow these rules. Talk to your internet service provider about filters you can use to block pornographic or violent websites or invest in a Wi-Fi router with parental controls.

Tip #13: Use VPN

If you want to prevent your location from being tracked and protect your family on any network, the best thing to do is to get a Virtual Private Network. It connects your device to a secure offsite server and uses an encrypted connection to keep your data safe on that connection.

By using a VPN, it can mask your IP address, meaning that they wouldn’t be able to track your location online. The encrypted connection protects your family on risky public networks, so information cannot be intercepted.

Tip #14: Install Antivirus and Strengthen Your Cybersecurity

Install a reputable anti-virus solution to make sure that your computer is clear of common viruses and malware. Other necessary steps include having strong passwords, updating the OS and all software regularly. Train yourself and your children on how to recognize common social engineering methods as well, such as email or social media phishing.

Tip #15: Know Who They Are Talking to and What They Are Talking About

If your children are old enough to be talking to people online, then know who those people are. If they are classmates, relatives or neighbourhood kids, it is probably fine, but strangers or someone who could be pretending to be a friend to your child to get close to them could mean grave danger for your children.

Be on the lookout for cyberbullies, sexual predators or people impersonating friends and family.

There are social networks designed specifically for children that allow them to learn how to communicate online in a safe environment.

Tip #16: Know All the Other Gadgets and Computers They Are Using

Yes, you could’ve installed a reputable anti-virus, set up parental controls on all of the gadgets they are using at home, but what if they are also using devices that are not in your home? They will be likely to have access to computers at school or their friends’ houses. Ask them where they go online, and talk to their friends’ parents about how they supervise their own kids’ internet use.

Tip #17: Delete or Close Unused Accounts

Unused accounts can be a source of personal information for cybercriminals. Sometimes kids create an account with their first and last name or their birthday in the user name. Again, tell them not to use their real name. Cybercriminals can patch these data points together and steal information from other sites that the individual uses. It’s best to close the account if you will no longer use it.

Tip #18: Connected Devices

Internet Safety for Kids

Hackers can identify vulnerabilities in your home, hack routers and gain access to your various internet-connected devices.  Your smartphone and tablet need as much security protection as your PC. So do your thermostat, smart doorbell, home security system, and other internet-connected devices. Make sure you’ve got a security solution that helps protect all your connected devices.

Tip #19: Tell Your Kids Not to Connect to Public Wi-Fi

Stress the importance of avoiding public Wi-Fi networks. Kids may not think about hackers and cybercriminals when they connect to public Wi-Fi in malls and coffee shops.

Tip #20: If You Found Something Suspicious, Report it

If you suspect your kid is being preyed on, call the police immediately. Don’t touch their computer or delete anything on it — there may be substantial evidence on it that can help catch the criminal.

The bad guys may be smart, but you and your kids can be more intelligent. These internet safety tips for kids can help. Follow this 20 Internet Safety for Kids Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe Online.

Which of these tips to keep your kids safe online are you already practising? Comment down below the measures you’ve taken to protect your kids online.

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