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7 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Our new generation is learning things with the speed of bullet train. Isn't it? My son is only 3 but he knows how to turn WIFI on in my phone. When for the first time I realized that he is able to play his favourite rhymes on YouTube, the next thing I fear was some unwanted content that may accidentally come up while using the internet. And then this happened as well. Once he was playing an app which I had downloaded, some advertisement flashes in between and as expected he clicked on the advertisement. That advertisement took him to an unwanted website. My eye went popping when I saw this happening right in front me. And that day I decided to take necessary steps to keep my son safe from such cyber issues.

Today's kids are very much capable of using laptops, tablets and mobile phones for different purposes. If the usage of internet wisely and carefully happens, it can open the doors of enormous knowledge and intelligence. Even kids under 10 now know that internet can give answers to any strange question, can give links to download printables and can provide N number of videos to enjoy. However what they don't know is Internet Safety.

Virus, privacy, phishing and clickjacking are some of the concepts that are very crucial when one joins the whopping world of internet. And obviously teaching kids these things are the responsibility of parents and schools. But the challenge is how to explain these complex concepts in an age-appropriate manner so that they can understand it well?
7 Internet Safety Tips for Kids By Vibhu & Me
The most vulnerable age group that mostly gets trapped in cyber issues is kids under 12. Their minds are still not that mature to keep pointers on check always. And that's why teaching them internet safety and ethics is a bit tricky for parents. Here are some of the points, that I as a software person, feel can help parents :

1. Start talking about internet ethics at an early age: Start explaining the careful usage of the internet right from the time when kids use the internet first time. When my son plays with my phone, I keep telling him not to click on any advertisement. Now, this has come to his habit. Similarly, parents can softly explain to kids that internet can bring unsafe things as well. So, they should use it with taking permission from parents. They should avoid clicking here and there.

2. Teach them about hackers like you teach about strangers: Now, every mother does this thing. She teaches kids to beware of strangers bearing chocolates and gifts. The same concepts can be taken to explain young kids who are hackers. How hackers can destroy the computers just like a demon can! How hackers can steal details from the computers just like a thief can! See we can't expect kids to behave differently when online. They stand by their basic nature of curiosity. So, parents need to be vigilant and explain them things in an age-appropriate manner timely.
Internet Safety Tips for Kids By Vibhu & Me

3. We need to talk sensibly even when we are on the internet: It happens that young kids stay behaved in front of the family members but when they are online, their way of expression change. They don't mind using inappropriate words. So, parents are supposed to teach kids that just like word said never come back, what we share on the internet, can't be deleted later. That's why they need to be sensible while talking others online. They need to careful in sharing their personal details.

4. Passwords are THE THINGS: We very well understand the importance of passwords. So, if kids use the internet at home, the first passwords that parents should put is for WIFI. This password should be strong enough so that kids can't guess it. This way, they always need your input for getting access to the internet. Parents should also explain kids the need for passwords in different online accounts and how it saves unwanted people breaching our lives.

5. Educate often: Don't assume that once you have told them the Internet Safety rules, kids will follow them forever. Repeat your teachings every other time. Keep telling them to don’t accept friendship requests from people they don’t know, verify requests even if they seem to be coming from someone they know, never agree to a private chat with a stranger and never post mobile number or home address online for all to see. Stay vigilant when they are browsing so that you can educate them about unsafe things that may come up.  

6. Become friends in your kid's social media account: This is very important. This way you can monitor posts that your kids are sharing. Also, the post or the content that their friends are sharing. Keep asking kids about new friends that they add and interact with. You can pretty much sense things beforehand and can avoid mishappenings. Be open, approachable and understanding to kids.

7. Take safety measures in all your devices: Antivirus, safety patches and strong password are the measures that parents should follow to keep all internet connecting devices safe. If you are sharing your device with your kids, make sure you also don't get involved in unknown things.
Internet Safety Tips for Kids By Vibhu & Me

Enforcing boundaries and engaging in age-appropriate open discussions about your kid's online activities can encourage young cyber minds to learn the benefits and realise the dangers of the internet. It is important to begin these conversations with kids from an early age, in order to protect them from risks that they may not yet understand and to prepare them to face and manage the threats.

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This post is for  and liked with Deepa and Dr Amrita

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Comments

  1. Excellent article Shipra.Congratulations on the new blog home.Important we keep good cyber habits a part of kids education.Thank you for writing with us for #MondayMommyMoments

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