I spend quite a bit of time each day online, I think most of do these days don’t we?
My children are still quite young and so at the moment they don’t do much online beyond watching videos on YouTube and occasionally looking something up with either me or Steve helping them.
I’m very aware though that, as they get older, they will inevitably spend more time online and it does make me think about what I need to teach them to make sure they stay safe.
Here are some things for us parents to be thinking about when it comes to our children and the internet:
Your Children Are Going to Be Exposed To The Web
The first thing that you have to understand is that it is impossible to completely shield your children from the internet. The internet is connected to pretty much every industry and institution today. Your children are going to see commercials for smartphone apps when they watch television. They are going to be exposed to the internet when they play with their friends. And they are definitely going to be taught about the internet when they go to school. Your children are going to be eager to surf the web and to communicate with their friends online, but it is important to set boundaries.
It is easy enough for an adult to fall victim to an identity theft scheme online, and children don’t have the experience or savvy to immediately know if they are being taken advantage of.
That is why it is vital that you understand all of the risks, from cyberbullying to identity thieves, and make sure that your child knows how to stay safe.
Teaching Your Kids What To Look Out For Online
Most children don’t know what an online threat is without an adult’s guidance. That is why you need to let your children know early on exactly what online threats they need to stay away from. You’ll need to let them know that sharing private information online is forbidden. That means no giving away birthdays, addresses, or social security numbers.
Your child should understand that talking to strangers online is dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. Whenever your child feels uncomfortable, they should talk to an adult that they trust, such as a teacher at school or a family friend or relative.
How VPNs Can Be A Great Security Tool
Parents are often worried about their child’s security online. A great security tool for children browsing the web are VPNs, or virtual private networks. VPNs like Hotspot Shield work by creating a secure tunnel between a device connecting to the web and a server located elsewhere around the world. The connection is encrypted and the server gives the device a new IP address. VPNs allow children to browse the web in public areas without the fear of a hacker being able to access their connection and steal personal data. There are many different types of VPNs for parents to choose from. More parents are using VPNs to keep their child safe online and to keep their online experience completely anonymous.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post