Teaching your kids online safety
The internet can be a fun and challenging way to teach and educate your children. When is it ok to allow them access to the internet, in general, it is something that needs to be discussed within the family. There are however some things you need to take into consideration. Read on if you want to find out about the dangers of the internet that can affect your child.
The Internet is an amazing thing and can be very useful. Parents are often reluctant to allow their children to use the internet, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The internet is a big place and for some children, it can be very overwhelming to use for the first time.
However, before letting your child use the internet on their own, you must prepare them. We made a list of internet traps you need to know about (and also talk about with your child) before letting them use the internet unsupervised.
The internet is a huge place with lots of content and this can vary. People can use the internet to educate themselves or to entertain themselves. Many websites have inappropriate content for children and most of them use user restriction, which requires them to be at least 16 (or some cases even 18 years old or more). The internet offers many things that can be useful in a young child’s life, for example, educational content, cartoons, nice songs. But it also contains a lot of inappropriate content which is not suitable for children. Keep in mind that your child is using the internet even when they watch their favorite cartoon on YouTube and even there they can stumble upon inappropriate content.
The question now is, how can you as a parent take care of this problem? We recommend you use strict supervised screen time in the beginning. Once the child knows their way around the internet, you can let them use it on their own. However, if you feel more comfortable, we recommend you to use parental control. Many platforms such as Youtube have this function, and it is free to use.
We already wrote about how you can recognize if your child is being bullied here. However on the internet bullying takes place in a different form and parents often don’t realize it is happening. It is different from in-person bullying, cyberbullying takes place on the internet in different forms, maybe your child is being bullied via a messaging service or maybe in the comments of his posts. Nonetheless, cyberbullying is just as harmful to the kid as real life bullying.
Talk and educate your child about the internet and how to use it. Ensure them that you are there for him and that you always have a listening ear. If you see a change in their behavior, this can be an alarm and you must intervene.
Scammers are everywhere, and the internet is the perfect place to find them. They can create fake profiles where most people rarely realise that they are fake! Scammers can steal your information or your identity.
Talk to your child and let them know why they have to be extra careful while using the internet. It can help if you go through some scenarios and resolve the problem together. Always observe your child’s behavior, if you see a drastic change, that can be an alarm signal!
Many people nowadays earn their money via social media. Instagram, for example, is full of influencers. Influencers are people with thousands of followers who share information about their everyday lives while promoting stuff they like. People are very keen to get affected by social media and other people’s opinions, especially children, that is why social media can have a big impact on your child’s self-esteem.
Educate your child about the proper use of social media. Teach them that some influencers only use social media for income and that they often aren’t promoting things because they actually like them. It is important to always do your own background research.
Last but not least, one of the most important things to take into consideration is addiction. Even though the internet can be a great resource to help you educate and entertain your child, it can also result in addiction.
We recommend that you set strict rules about screen time and if it is an option, enable parental controls. Also, we strongly recommend that you educate yourself and your child about the advantages and disadvantages of using the internet and how we must use it safely.
These are the five biggest traps that you need to talk and educate your child about before letting them use the internet. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive and that dangers are all around the internet. To avoid your child getting into any trouble use parental controls, limit their screen time and educate them about the use of the internet. It is important that they know how to use the internet and how to protect themselves. Remember to always be available to talk and listen to your child and answer any questions they may have about using the internet.