Do you know, internet can seriously harm your kids? Follow these internet safety tips to prevent them from possible internet hazards.
With the easy accessibility of internet, the serious internet hazards for kids are growing day by day globally. Kids are the softest targets for cyber criminals and hence the kids are the largest victims of the cyber crimes.
Being a parent, you must know some of the possible cyber attacks on your kids along with the prevention tips for internet safety for kids.
Most Common Internet Risks for Kids
Common Internet Issues With Teenagers : an Ireland Report Jan 2011
|Ever had contact on the internet with someone not met face to face before||28%|
|Have come across one or more types of potentially harmful user generated content||25%|
|Have experienced one or more types of misuse of personal data||12%|
|Seen sexual images on websites||11%|
|Seen or received sexual messages on the internet||11%|
|Ever gone on to meet anyone face to face that first met on the internet||4%|
|Have been sent nasty or hurtful messages on the internet||4%|
According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2010, 95% teen agers are now online. This fact is not hidden from the cyber criminals. They easily trap the children online for:
- Cyber bullying
- Exposure to inappropriate material
- Online predation (including sexual predation and financial predation)
- Revealing too much personal information
All of the above activities of cyber criminals lead to serious harms for the kids many times including the danger of life!
Effects of Internet Attacks on Kids
The most common effects of internet attacks on kids are recorded as:
- Change in social behavior of kids
- Change in personal behavior and habits of kids
- Sexual asault
- School skipping
- Starting of alcohol and drugs
- Suicide (in some cases)
8 Internet Safety Tips For Kids
Prevention is always better than cure. You can follow the basic tips to provide internet safety for kids, so that you have no need to always keep an eye on your kid’s internet surfing and no need to worry about online predators.
1. Teach Basic Internet Safety Tips
Teach your kids to never share their too much personal information online, i.e. names, schools, ages, phone numbers, and addresses; so that nobody can approach them in real world through these information.
- Ask your kids to never send pictures to strangers.
- Keep passwords private (except to parents).
- Never open and/or respond email from strangers – it may contain viruses that can harm a computer.
2. Keep Computer In Common Area At Your Home
Teens are very curious about many issues. Obviously, they search internet to quench their thirst. There is nothing wrong to find the answers of queries if they get the right and justified information over internet. But most of the time they become the victims of inappropriate and wrong information which mislead them. For example, kids are redirected to porn sites when they search for the queries about their physical changes and hormonal changes in teen age.
Those misleading information sites easily trap them. Gradually their life start to affect from this inappropriate information and create many personal, social, financial and physical problems.
It is observed by the experts that the exposure of inappropriate material is more with those kids who mostly surf internet in private. Keeping their computer in common area at your home is hence a good solution.
3. Check Her Smart Devices Occasionally
In today’s world, only computer is not the device to surf the internet. We are living in the era where internet is easily available on smart devices. In fact, internet users through smart devices are rapidly growing.
If your kid also having smart phones and other smart devices then you must check her smart devices occasionally. It will help you to know about his internet behavior, i.e. what is she surfing, what is she searching over internet, what kind of people in her circle and what information he/she shared online.
4. Join Your Kid On Her Social Network
Frequent and fast status update on social networking sites are sometimes very harmful. There was a 14 year girl in America who updated on his FB timeline that she is going on vacations with her family today evening, and will return after 7 days. Thieves took the advantage of this update. When the family returned back from the happy vacations, they found their home opened and plundered.
In an another case in Canada, a 15 year boy was trapped by a 23 year old girl. They firstly met on social networking sites as strangers, then became friends and then became close friends. The girl sexually assaulted him for more than 12 months, made some video clips and started blackmailing the boy to get the huge amount of money from the boy’s parents. Later on police officials found it that the girl was associated with a gang which target the teens over social networking sites.
Though, today you can not ban your kids to join any social network and in fact there is no reason to stop your kids to join good social networking sites, but you can at least tell your kids about the age policies of social networking sites. If your kid is under age according to the policies of social networking sites, be sure you and your kid could be in legal troubles if your kid joins those social networking sites.
If your kid’s age legitimately allow him/her to join any social networking site, then you must join her network at the very start. In most cases, the kid starts his social networking circle with parents, siblings, close relatives and school friends. Gradually when he/she expands the circle and exposed to strangers with captivating online material, then she will start to hide her social identity from you. That’s why its important to join her social circle at starting.
5. Occasionally Watch Her When She Is Online
Occasionally watching your kid’s online activities is necessary. It will help you to keep an eye on her online activities. Experts say, “if your kid close all the browsers all of sudden when she/he finds you around her, its alarming for you. Be sure she is trying to hide something from you.”
In addition to this, you can find many things about his/her online activities from her body language and her facial expressions. So you must occasionally watch your kid without interrupting her when she is online.
6. Prepare Online Schedule
Sometimes, it is better to be a strict parent. You can prepare a schedule for her to be online, same as you prepare his/her studies time table. You can limit the maximum time to be online in one sitting, time-slot to be or not to be online, number of days etc.
7. Use Online Filters
There are many online filters available to filter the sites could and could not open on your computer. You can ban or filter out porn sites, spammy sites, gambling sites, drugs, violence, phishing and the captivating sites which can harm your kids with the help of those online filters. Once you ban those websites with the help of online filters, then the websites of particular category will not open at your computer or smartphone.
8. Spend Quality Time With Your Kids
Human is a social creature. He needs company of likely minded people. In today’s fast life, most of the parents do not have enough time to spend with their kids. It makes the kid lonely. It moves her very fast towards the virtual world – the world of internet. The fascinating and captivating material and websites easily trap these lonely kids. And, the harm of your kid starts here!
As your kid is already lonely, living with very less daily communication between you and her, so the kid will not immediately tell you if something mean or creepy happens over internet. This sometimes leads to major harm for the kid.
Make sure to spend some quality time daily with your kids. Become their friends along with their parents. Win your kids hearts!!
Internet may boon or curse for your kids. It depends on you, not on your kids. Basic internet safety tips for kids can make the internet boon for their studies, career, extra curricular activities, developing their special skills, healthy entertainment and much more! Hence, don’t forget to apply these basic and general internet safety tips in your home. Happy surfing!
Write us your experiences about internet harms, prevention and after effects in comment area below. Also write us your comments about this post which can help others to live safe and peaceful.
Author: Sameer Goyal