Teaching Your Children Online Safety
With digitization, not just adults have access online. The children are not left out, they play games, make use of the internet for assignments and also join social media to be able to connect with their friends. The internet is a wonderful resource for kids but online access comes with risks.
This makes the children open to online attacks just like every online user. Parents should be aware of what their kids see or hear on the internet, who they meet and what they share about themselves. Parents needs to teach their children the importance of staying safe online.
Parents should teach their Kids how unsafe the internet is, on how to use computer/internet as a tool and not a toy.
- Start with internet etiquette: Teach your child to be nice to others online, be respectful to others because there are people sitting behind the screen as internet /online bullying has become very high online.
- Relate real life scenario to what they are doing on the internet: Children learn faster when you use stories. Paint a real life scenario on internet/online bullying and other online crimes to them. They will understand better. For example, “ask them if they will give details about themselves to a stranger on the street, relate to them how the internet is like a street with a lot of people you don’t know and should never be trusted.
- Spend time online together to teach them online behavior: When they go online, be sure to be there with them. See what they do online ,see who their friends are on social media and teach them how to interact online and what they should be aware of.
- Don’t keep the computer in their bedrooms: keep the computer in an open and common area where you can watch and monitor their use of the computer.
- Teach them “the internet is a magical universe that you share with your family and friends what you discovered: This makes them talk more about their online activities to their family and friends.
- Teach them not to reveal personal or family information as they are a secret and should not be shared online. Information like your name, age, the school you attend or where you live.
- Teach them about videos and links: They are kids and can click an available links and videos. Teach them not to play any video or click on a link without your intervention
- Making good passwords and not sharing them: They should know how to create a good password and give them reasons not to share their password.
- Make separate computer account for the kids to use: this account should not have admin rights and if you use windows, you can have Microsoft send reports of user activity.
Do not teach your child online safety just for a day, talk to your children about online safety all the time. You could make it a dinner topic or on weekends. There should be constant reminder about the risks of the internet.