If you bought your child a new computer, tablet, or smartphone recently and you’re overwhelmed at the prospect of them interacting with strangers online then you’re not alone. The Internet can be a wonderful place for kids provided they follow some basic rules. These Internet safety tips for kids will guide the discussion with your child.
How Do I Keep My Child Safe?
You can’t be with your child all the time. Many parents say they will monitor their child’s online activities but the truth is that you don’t have time to sit with them the entire time they are online.
So what can you do? The easiest way to protect your child is through training and tools that help monitor and protect them.
Let’s go over some simple things you can do to keep your child safe online.
Keep Their Information Private
There’s little reason to share a child’s private information online at any age. Even companies like YouTube and Apple discourage parents from creating accounts for children under age 13.
Be Careful What They Share Online
The Internet is a big place – until you want to hide something nasty that you said online! Once it’s out there it is very difficult to hide or remove as you no doubt have heard from news stories like the ones below.
- 5 Celebrities Who Messed Up on Twitter
- 21 Social Media Posts Celebrities Would Really Like You To Forget
Even companies sometimes have a hard time with their online profiles.
While your 10 year old might not be creating inappropriate content they might share it from someone else. And that’s just as damaging.
Always Log Off
If your child’s brother or sister posts an inappropriate picture on their Instagram account as a prank the Internet won’t know that it wasn’t them.
So tell your child to log out of social media accounts when their done just like your boss tells you to lock your computer when you step away for lunch or meetings.
Check Your Settings
Facebook and other social media services provide lots of ways for you to limit how much you share with the world, your friends, and friends of friends. Be sure to spend some time learning how to configure the settings so that your child doesn’t accidentally overshare with the wrong people.
Don’t Forget Antivirus & AntiSpyware
If you’re not careful what you click on or download then your only defense from malicious online attacks is up-to-date Antivirus and AntiSpyware tools.
You are the master of your computer. If you click on a suspicious link or if you download a virus-infested file the computer doesn’t know any better and will happily obey your command.
Your Antivirus and AntiSpyware software will be the only thing protecting you from a costly repair. Best Buy’s Geek Squad will clean your computer for $149.99. $249.99 for house calls. There are cheaper options available but viruses and spyware are easy to avoid if you know how to recognize the signs or have the tools to clean them quickly.
Never Agree To Meet IRL
The online community is dangerous enough – do you really need to meet someone in real life (IRL)? If you must meet someone offline be sure to do it in a public place, bring a friend or two, and let someone who isn’t going with you know where you’ll be and when to expect you home.
Wait To Download
When you download and install software those programs have nearly full access to your computer. Remember – the computer does exactly what you tell it and that includes installing viruses.
Bonus Tip: Use a VPN for Ultimate Privacy
By using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) you can take your security and privacy to a whole new level. Check out our ExpressVPN Review for more details.
What are some other ways you keep your child safe online? Let us know in the comments.