With the ever increasing access to the Internet and its paraphernalia, kids are connected 24*7. Whether it is tablets, smartphones, iPhones, or what not, the Internet throws open (for the kids) a huge window to the whole world at large. And this includes everything, yes almost everything, whether good or bad, for the young and the not so young.
Everything has its benefits and disadvantages. And the Internet has its own sets of pros and cons. It is very useful to understand new concepts, get regular updates about your child in his or her school, communicate easily with teachers online and play skill-boosting games.
However, it is not without several flaws. Children, being immature and innocent, are unable to understand the risks associated with the use of the Internet. As children get to navigate this wonder invention of the world, they may feel lost, abandoned or lured towards the things that are, undoubtedly, potential threats. Children may share their personal information online which could be very risky.
So, as parents, what you could do in a world monopolized by online dominance? How could you keep a tab on your children? How could you ensure their online safety? No wonder, this has given yet another full-time task to parents, that is, to keep their children safe while staying connected. Well, it has to be done if you want Internet safety for kids.
Huh! So, all you parents out there. Gear up and become ready to take along yet another duty on your shoulders as kids keep enjoying the sensational wonder called the Internet.
Since ensuring online safety of kids is the responsibility of every parent, so, let us see here some the best Internet safety advice to make online surfing a positive and purposeful experience for both the child and the parent.
Unveil and explore the Internet along with your child
Take the initiative to introduce the Internet to your children. Enjoy the privilege of parenthood by discovering and surfing the Internet together with your kids. Spend and share online time with your kids to help them learn the right online behavior.
Create a positive environment by finding creative, educative and learning websites and exploring them. As you share your online interaction with your kids, you can help to ensure their online safety.
Monitor your child’s online activity
You need to get involved in your child’s online activity if you want to have online safety for him or her. You must take an interest in your kids’ online interests and make efforts to co-create with them at different periodicals.
You also must have familiarity with your kids’ favorite websites or apps. Only then you can monitor their online activities. Nuwber.com is a great tool to help you keep a tab on what your child is seeing online or with whom he/she is chatting.
Develop faith and trust with your child
Develop and nurture a bond of trust and faith between yourself and your kids. Always encourage your children to share any concerns or issues they face. Take time and have the patience to listen to their problems. Let them tell you what they love to see online.
You need to become your child’s guide regarding the use of the Internet. However, make sure to advise them on how to use it in the best possible manner while ensuring their online safety. After all, ensuring Internet safety for kids is the sole aim of every parent.
Guide your kids to be careful when sharing personal information
Teach your kids to stay careful when sharing personal details online. You can ask your children to remember ‘YAPPY’ acronym while sharing any information online. YAPPY is—your full name, Address, Phone number, Passwords, Your plans and your date of birth. It is a sure-shot Internet safety advice for kids.
Apart from this, tell your children not to share any of the pictures or photos without your consent. While posting pictures or personal information online at social networking websites (like Facebook, Instagram etc.), teach them to be extremely selective. Children need to know that anything that once goes online cannot be controlled about how it may be used by anyone.
Help kids explore positive aspects of the Internet
Like all other things, the Internet has its positive as well as negative aspects. However, that does not mean one should prevent children from using the Internet. Rather, as a parent, you need to encourage your kids to use and realize the positive aspects of the Internet to its fullest.
After all, it is well-known to be a remarkable educational, creative and recreational tool for kids and children. Hence, children must be taught to look to the positive sides and get maximum benefits while exercising online safety.
Tell your kids to be critically aware of the information found online
Tell your kids that they need to think critically while reading any information online. They need to be informed that everything found on the Internet might not be true. So, they must be aware of this fact before believing any information or sources. This is very important responsibility of parents wanting to ensure Internet safety for kids.
Don’t ban or criticize your child
No doubt, you want to make sure your kids enjoy online safety while using the Internet. But that does not mean you should become critical of your kid’s use of the Internet. There is no logic in banning your children from using the Internet.
Rather, if you see your child seeing any adult material on the Internet by mistake, don’t panic or become angry. Become realistic and inform your children not to use such sites by involving them in an open discussion about such content.
Regular communication vital to navigate problems
You must encourage open communication with your children. This communication must be done regularly to help your child deal with any issues online. Give reassurance to your kids whenever they share their digital issues with you. Only then you can ensure online safety of your children.
After all, as parents and teachers, it is your duty to make your children wise and responsible digital netizens. For this, you need to set clear boundaries while involving your children to adhere to the guidelines amicably.
As a parent, you can provide the best solutions for your children while ensuring Internet safety for kids.