8 Things You Need To Teach Children About Being Online

Securityby Debamalya Mukherjee02 March 2024

Teach Children About Being Online

As parents, we often tell our kids how important it is to be safe in the real world. But we might forget how important it is to teach them how to stay safe online. Considering that cyberbullying is a common problem, more than 40% of kids reportedly experience it.

This article talks about the risks kids might face while using the internet. Read on to learn what you need to teach your kids to stay safe and responsible online.

They Can Talk To You About Anything

To keep your children safe online, you need to build trust with them. Listen to their fears and reassure them that having problems online is normal. Don’t be mean or punish them. As a family, set aside time for “tech talks” to talk about internet safety and find out what they do online.

Their Personal Information Is Valuable

Remind your kids to never give their entire name, phone number, or school name to strangers. Emphasize the importance of keeping their passwords private. You can teach them how to use cybersecurity tools, as password managers, ad blockers, and VPNs for iPads are available. While password managers keep their passwords safe, VPNs can secure their online activity and teach your youngsters to report questionable online behavior.

Not Everyone Online Is Who They Say They Are

Teach your children to be cautious when dealing with strangers online. Be clear that they should avoid meeting up with anyone they meet online and not accept friend requests or follow unknown accounts. Encourage them to be selective about the friends they make online, to keep gaming conversations focused on the game, and to avoid discussing personal details with anyone they don’t know in real life.

The Significance Of Creating Strong, Unique Passwords

Your kids should learn how to make strong passwords for their internet accounts. Passwords need at least 12 characters, which can be numbers, letters, or symbols. Do not give out private details like names or birthdays. Use a different password for each website or app to keep things safe. Just like a toothbrush, a password is something you should never share with anyone. 

Cyberbullying Is A Serious Issue

Teach your children that cyberbullying is wrong and can cause sadness, fear, and depression

Cyberbullying includes sending hurtful or threatening messages, sharing offensive photos or videos without permission, spreading rumors online, or excluding someone from online chats or groups. If someone is being cyberbullied, advise your children to block the bully on social media sites, take pictures to keep proof, and tell a trusted adult to get help fixing the problem.

Cyberbullying can be stopped with the help of a VPN. It hides where and what you’re doing online, making it harder for malicious actors like hackers to target you directly. It’s important to pick a VPN service that you can trust. For that, check reviews online or sources like the VPN comparison table on Reddit. Additionally, look for services that offer strong security, a clear “no-logging” policy, and helpful customer service.

The Internet Is Not Private

Remind your kids that their online activities create a digital footprint that can affect their prospects. Even private content can be shared without their knowledge; deleting it doesn’t guarantee erasure. 

Encourage them to apply the “Grandma Test” and avoid posting anything they wouldn’t want family, educators, or future employers to see. Teach them to create positive content and behave responsibly online.

How To Spot The Difference Between Accurate And Misleading Content

Online misinformation and disinformation is rampant. Strange domain names, sensational headlines, emotionally charged content, and seemingly unbelievable offers are telltale signs of untrustworthy information.

Kids should learn how to check if a source is reliable, utilize fact-checking tools, and compare data from various sources. You can help them remember these lessons by giving them games like “Fact or Fake.” Help kids learn to think critically so they can tell the difference between fact and fiction, stay safe, and be good internet citizens.

Some Apps And Websites Are Inappropriate Or Even Harmful

Teach your children to be picky about the apps and websites they use. Do your research, read reviews, check age suggestions, and look at privacy settings. Watch out for in-app sales and excessive advertising.

Establish clear rules for what apps and websites are acceptable for your family and why. Try out new digital sites with your children to build a stronger relationship and stay informed.

Use parental controls to limit screen time, block inappropriate content, and manage app payments. Keep up with new trends and adjust the rules and controls as minors grow and technology evolves.

Conclusion

The internet has a lot of great benefits, but it’s also important to know about the risks to your children’s safety and health. Never forget that this is not a one-and-done discussion. Talk to your kids about their online activities daily, keep up with new trends, and be the adult they can always trust.

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Debamalya Mukherjee

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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