5 Ways to Help Protect Your Kids OnlineJanuary 24, 2022
Guest post by Heidi Rosenberg
The internet has done a lot of good things for humanity but it has also caused quite some harm and some children who love to be online have not been exceptions. If you have kids, you definitely want to start taking some precautions. It is good for kids to be online to learn new things, get help with some homework, play intelligent games, and socialize. However, not every online activity is well suited for kids and teens alike. A lot of bad things can happen to your child online which could be difficult to repair. If you wish to prevent that from happening, here are some ways to help protect your kids online.
Make Use of a VPN
A virtual private network or VPN is a service that encrypts your data and hides your IP address by redirecting your online activities through a secure chain to another server miles away. This conceals your identity so you can browse the internet securely and anonymously. Usually the problem most kids online face is cyberbullying or identity theft. Some pedophiles are also there to groom kids which could turn out disastrous for the child. Using a VPN offers a good layer of protection and though there is a list of VPNs, choosing the best option possible is important. You can check reviews to pick the best VPN reviewed option that is used most of the time and gives good results. This will offer maximum protection and shield your child from online criminals.
Keep Their Online Activity in a Public Place
Some kids that go online usually know that they are there for some reasons they wouldn’t want their parents to be aware of. This could land them in trouble later and even the child gets to regret his or her actions. As a parent, you can help this situation by making sure that you put the computer or other gadgets that the child may want to use in a public place. It should be placed in such a way that you will be able to see what your child is doing from a distance. Once kids know that someone could be over their shoulders at any time, they will not surf places that would make their parents ground their online activities. It may be discomforting to them but they will thank you later.
Educate Them on Some of the Dangers
This is one of the best solutions for keeping your children safe online. When your child has become of age and can listen, understand and take precautions, you can educate him or her about some of the dangers that could crop up when you are online. Make them understand that it could also happen to adults who are not careful. This method is strongly advised because you may not be able to control what your children do online when they are not with you. It is better to arm them with the knowledge you have of the possible dangers so they can be careful wherever they are.
Limit Access to Certain Websites
There are some websites that are naturally not for kids. Even some apps aren’t fit for them. The only way you can be on top of this is to limit the websites they visit. Any website involving adult content or that doesn’t appear to edify your child in any way should have a lid on it. Sometimes, just clicking on the wrong link could take them to a place they didn’t plan to visit and they may spend some time exploring it and being open to danger in the process. So, setting up restrictions on some websites and types of downloads you feel are inappropriate will really keep them safe from the dangers children could face when online.
Control Your Family’s Digital Footprint
Your family’s digital footprint is a record of every picture and personal detail of any member of your family that is posted and shared on social media and the internet. It is important to control this because once any piece of information is shared online, it becomes public knowledge. There won’t be any guarantee that someone somewhere wouldn’t have saved it before you delete such. So, coming to terms with the fact that anything shared online is permanently online should spur you to keep your family’s digital footprint in check. Teach your children to be smart about protecting their images and personal details. This also goes to parents who make posts of their children’s achievements or pictures online. Only share with people you know and trust.
So many children have been scarred for life due to the dangers they were exposed to while surfing the internet. Some of them slip into depression and there has been news of many kids or teens committing suicides just because of cyberbullying. As a parent, you can guide against all these by being in control of what your child does online. This doesn’t mean you should ban their online activities totally because they also stand to gain a lot from being online. Just educate them and put some restrictions in place and your children should be safe.
This article was contributed by Heidi Rosenberg.