How To Know If Your Child Is Safe On The Internet – 2021 Guide
It would be the worst nightmare for the parents to see anything wrong happen to their children. Every parent would do anything to keep their children safe. However, parents can keep the children safe from the physical and visible threats out there. Still, some unnoticed things can harm them—some of those unseen things are cyberbullying and inappropriate content online. Hence, what are the parents doing to keep the child safe from them?
Because it is evident that the Internet is not going anywhere, and as technology grows, there will be more use of the internet. It has become necessary to have a smartphone, and children are also using smartphones more often. However, there are consequences of excessive use of the internet. Therefore, it gets essential for the parents to keep an eye on the child and use some cyber safety.
Here are some of the tips to know if your child is safe online:
Have an open conversation with the child about the online activities
The child will be on the internet, and there is no denying that, but the parents must make sure that the child is getting the proper guidance to navigate the jungle of the internet.
- Parents should have a conversation about what the child is reading, watching, and what kind of people are talking to on the internet.
- Ask the children what sites and apps they visit and use. After that, parents should make a list of the site and apps to see themselves.
- Talk to the children and tell them what is appropriate for them to do on the internet because one day they will be using the internet outside of your reach.
- Children must know how to behave on the Internet and their limitations because what one does on the internet will be there forever.
Keep the gadgets and screens where you can watch them
It is advisable to monitor the time a child is spending on the internet, and if the child is younger, it becomes a more crucial thing to do.
Parents can keep the computer in the house to quickly focus on what the child is watching and doing. If the child is using a mobile device, parents can set it to “forgot the passcode,” so whenever the child uses the device, they will ask for the password, and you will be aware of their activities.
If a child is younger, then checking the web history of the computer can also be an option. However, when the child grows up, they will be able to delete the web history, then good communication would be the best solution.
What kind of friends the child has online
Everyone knows that everything on the internet is not real, and the same goes for people on the internet because people on the internet don’t need to be as in real life as they pretend to be on the internet.
However, the children do not know that, and they can fall into any kind of trap very quickly until they are aware of cyber safety at a very early age.
In these circumstances, it becomes more necessary to access their social media platforms and monitor their posts. It is possible that at first, the child will resist that, but it is the parent’s responsibility to establish communication with the child.
Have control over your family’s digital footprint
Every picture or post someone shares on any social media platforms on the internet will contribute to their digital footprint. The primary risk factor of sharing something on the internet is that you never know how someone might use that particular image or post.
It should also be clear to everyone that whatever one posts on the internet will be there forever (one can delete it later, but before that, it will be seen and shared by so many people).
Therefore, not just children but also adults must be smart enough to protect the images and private information. Parents should teach their children to control their digital footprint by sharing photos and knowledge with the people they trust.
Tell the children to keep the location private
There are many apps, websites, and electronic devices with geotagging features, which make your location openly available on the internet for anyone to use. It can lead anyone directly to you.
However, someone can turn off these features for privacy reasons. The photos one share on the internet also contain metadata such as information about the date, time, and GPS coordinates, revealing about one much more than one wants to tell.
Yes, some social media platforms have the features of hiding this information, but they do not work every time. Therefore, parents should also do the homework and know how much they are sharing on the internet.
Parents should be social network savvy
To teach the children anything first, the parents should educate themselves on how to be safe on social media platforms. To keep the children safe, all the parents must sign up on social media sites that are children using and know how to use the various settings on the website, such as privacy and reporting.
Talk to the children about how they can stay safe while using the internet and tell them that it is lovely to talk to someone when they are worried.
If the child is using social media platforms, then he or she should be aware of these things:
- Report inappropriate and offensive posts
- Block someone if necessary
- Always keep all the information private
Parents must know their parental controls
Some of the web browsers, devices, and internet service providers offer some kind of parental control restrictions, and all the parents must be aware of them. Because sometimes, an innocent search on the internet can have the opposite consequences.
For example, there is a feature called the SafeSearch Filters on Google that blocks all the websites which contain any kind of explicit or sexual content. However, this parental control is not 100 percent secure, but still, it is one of the best options to keep the child safe. To have more control over your children’s phone read this article.
Children learn what they see the parents doing
Parents can set an example of positive online behavior for the children. If the children see the parents are cautious and responsible for what they are doing on the internet, they will likely be more cautious by following their parents’ footsteps. And it will include the screen time parents are using.
Hence, It is critical that how and how much time the parents are on the internet in the house. Apart from that, whenever parents are free, then instead of spending their time on the internet, they should spend the time with the children.
Every parent needs to understand that it is not their goal to sow fear in the child that the internet is evil and should not be using it.
However, they should know all the pros and cons of the internet and use the technology to learn something new. There are various benefits of the internet, such as education, entertainment, and social. One should be able to take advantage of these benefits while avoiding all the risks.