Parenting

7 Tips to keep your child safe online!

Sonal Pawar Kadam
11 to 16 years

Created by Sonal Pawar (Kadam)
Updated on Feb 20, 2016

7 Tips to keep your child safe online

 The Internet has revolutionised the world. Along with benefits, it has also posed threats like cyber bullying and online frauds.  Here are few disturbing statistics revealed by survey done globally by McAfee (The Digital Divide: How the Online Behaviour of Teens is getting past Parents), in the US:

* Teens spend more time online than their parents think. On an average, teens spend about five hours a day online, while parents only think their child is spending an average of three hours a day online. Nearly 10 percent of teens (10.3percent) spend more than 10 hours a day online.

* Parents are blind to how much time teens spend on social networks.

* Teens don’t think online friends are dangerous. A concerning percentage of teens did report meeting someone offline that they only knew through online interactions.

* When teens do share, parents need to beware. 49 percent of teens post a risky comment on social networks (such as foul language – 39 percent and hooking up with someone – 10 percent) with 16.3 percent of those comments containing information they would not want to disclose to their parents.

It is quite important for your child to learn about internet safety so that they do not become a victim of cybercrimes including cyber bullying and identity theft. As parents, it's your responsibility to make your child, cyber smart. Here are some tips, which you may follow in order to make your children wise netizens:

  1. For children of all ages: On a regular basis ask your child whether they have used the internet? Ask your child about his online activity and this could be an excellent conversation initiator with your child.

If you think something is amiss, then stay calm and don’t panic and don’t blame the child. Discuss with your child about the problem he is facing and solve it tactfully. Be discreet in your questioning lest the child clams up totally.

2) Set family rules on usage of internet and social media:

-Time period for which he can be online

-Name of websites he will register

-The computer is used in public part of your home only, such as the living room.

- He mustn’t reveal any personal information like date of birth, home and school address and holiday plans among other things.

3) Protect the accounts very carefully with the passwords and other information. Here are tips you can keep in mind while creating an account:

– Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.

– Is significantly different from previous passwords.

- Passwords are meant to be kept secret, so make sure that your child keeps them private.

4)  Educate yourself: Join the social media website. Understand how it works. Also, monitor your child’s profile. Beware of the content which is posted on your child’s profile.

5) Teach your children that they should never accept a friend’s request from a stranger or to communicate online or chat with someone they don’t know.

6) Read all the information on online safety available to you and include your child as well while reading such information. Routinely share articles on the dangers of internet, sharing information on social media etc with your child—not to scare him but to smarten him. Also, keep yourself updated on the new social networking sites and apps doing the rounds.

7) Learn about tracking and talk to your child about it. Be aware of the potential privacy concerns this poses for photos and videos taken of your child. Example: Whenever you upload photos of your child on websites like Facebook turn off the geo-tagging or location of photos.

8) Build a relationship of trust with your child: Asking them pointed questions about the online activity, can sometimes have a counter effect and the child may totally block you out of conversations. Instead, build a friendly and trusting relationship with your child wherein she is open to talking and discussing things with you.

9) Parental control apps:  Install parental control apps on your child’s gadgets so that you get a notification of his activities online.

10) Organise activities for your child wherein he can invite all his friends over. This way, in case, he invites any friends from his social media circle, you will get an opportunity to meet them. This is especially relevant for older age groups where children go for dates with strangers they meet online. 

By following these guidelines, you can make sure that your family is safe on the internet. Happy Parenting! Stay Safe.

Author Bio: Sonal Pawar (Kadam) loves the way Internet world evolve and this keeps her constantly on her toes. Being a mom, she understands the importance of cyber safety. 

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| Oct 17, 2016

Another very important point is to look for approved kids app. Mostly these are apps that adhere to internationally approved rules such as COPPA etc.. which ensures that not just the content but also the ads that appear on the website or app is children friendly. Here is a link to an article we wrote where there are some additional points to run through. https://story31.in/blog/2016/how-safe-is-the-internet-for-our-children

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| Jun 28, 2016

I strongly recommend using OPENDNS, a free service by Cisco. you can safe guard gadgets and computer, better still router. so all gadgets using wifi i home will be protected. it will filter all adult content also malware

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| Feb 20, 2016

Interesting blog on how to keep our children safe online. An important topic for parents of all groups these days, as children these days become tech savvy, from quite a young age.

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