How to keep children safe online?
Parents can help their children navigate the web with safety
It's time for parents to face the reality: the internet has become a part of their children's lives and it's not going to change anytime soon. The only way we can mitigate the risks of the digital world is by educating our children. This blog will look at how different parents are dealing with this and how we can, as a whole, raise our children safely in the digital world.
Parents face numerous fears while raising children. Restrictions and strict prohibitions however are not the best way to help our young ones grow into adults with coping mechanisms ready to get out to the world. The Internet is one of the main concerns of parents nowadays and not wrongfully. Α total internet ban is not the right way to ensure the safety of our children's digital world, experts say, because whether we like it or not, the internet is a new way of communicating, learning and having fun.
Knowledge of safety rules, development of critical and perceptual skills and the ability to recognize risks are essential tools for safe internet browsing. So let's take a look at the possible dangers of the internet that concern all of us the most!
Personal data that are used on a dailz basis as we browse the internet include:
- Financial and
- Marital status
Minors use social media on a daily basis and this creates a very attractive and interactive virtual reality, that also hides risks in trying to keep-up with a perfect image, misleading news or fake news, invasion of privacy, etc.
Digital bullying is any act of intimidation, aggression, harassment, or authoritarian behavior carried out via the internet and mobile phones. In order to characterize an act as intimidation, it must be done systematically, intentionally, with the aim of hurting someone and there must be an imbalance of forces of the people involved.
Internet addiction is of great concern as well. If our child spends many hours on the internet, we should look out for warning signs and find a way to manage the situation. It is important to set boundaries and rules for engaging with the internet from an early age so that children can develop the necessary self-control and self-discipline.
Sexual Blackmail and Coercion of Minors
Minors often chat online with other known or unknown users. Malicious users exploit children's innocence to persuade a minor to send them personal information, to produce original material (photos or videos), to pay money, to meet with them or to take other actions.
How to help our children use the internet safely
Adults should act as role models for children
Setting the right example with our own online behavior following the rules of safe navigation is the first rule in showing our children how to use the internet safely.
Adults should act as role models for children.
Using the Internet Together
Talking to our children about both their social life and their internet life and being informed about their internet interests, the accounts they maintain on social media, online games and applications is also critical. We should also spend time browsing with them on pages and applications of their interest.
Check Security and Privacy settings
Check with the child the security and privacy settings of his accounts and make sure that he has activated the option of double step verification (two step verification), while the codes he uses are secure (consist of at least 8 symbols, numbers and letters).
Talk About the Dangers of Exposing Personal Data
Take the time to talk to children about the dangers of exposing personal data (names, home addresses, phone numbers, schools, etc.), photos (obscene or not), and even emails on websites, applications, and Internet services. Emphasize that the possible sending of photos to a known person at a given time may have negative consequences in the future.
Connect with Real Friends
Also explain that their friends in a profile should only be their friends in real life. Under no circumstances should strangers or "friends of friends" be accepted.
Limit Entering Unknown Platforms
Advise them to avoid entering pages, electronic chat applications (chat) unknown to them where they could chat with strangers, as well as those where a camera is used.
Advise them to avoid opening any link of unknown origin.
Parental Control Applications
At a young age we can support children in their online autonomy by installing a parental control application, which can help children navigate the Internet safely while protecting their data and parents can control the content of the websites they visit.
We should remember however that at older ages communication is based on trust and not on control.
What to do in Case of Suspicious Activity
If we notice anything alarming we should remain calm, listen to the whole story without interrupting the child, preserve any evidence (screenshot of photos / messages), report the incident to the authorities and ask for the help of experts.
The internet is the world of our children - let us not deprive them of the right to become the active and conscious digital citizens of tomorrow.
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