If you’re a parent, then you know how worrying it can be when your child asks for their own smartphone, wants to start using the internet more, and perhaps even asks if they can set up social media accounts. The truth is that kids today are using the internet more frequently than ever before and in many cases, it has become an essential part of a young person’s life for education and socialization. However, the internet can still be a very dangerous place for kids, which is why it’s so important to make sure that your child is aware of the following four safety guidelines.
Speaking With Strangers:
It’s important to be frank with your child about the dangers of speaking with strangers online and to make sure that they are only using the internet to talk with trusted friends and family members. Your child should know to be vigilant about anybody contacting them for nefarious purposes and to look out for warning signs. They should know to come to you if they have been contacted by anybody they do not know so you can verify who they are. You can use Nuwber to get more information on anybody who has contacted your child using their email address or phone number.
If you are going to be getting your child their own laptop or smartphone, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with them about the importance of keeping operating systems and software up to date. Just like every other internet user, kids are just as susceptible to hackers and cyberattacks, therefore updating security software is important to ensure that these defenses are kept strong. With hackers always finding new ways to bypass security software and operating systems, the purpose of regular updates is to keep these criminals out.
Chances are that once your child is let loose with their own laptop or computer, they will want to create online accounts. Perhaps they will be using online gaming sites or shopping websites, or if they are old enough to do so, social networks. Explain the importance of using strong passwords and make sure that they know exactly why it’s crucial to use a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that are difficult to guess. A password manager that will create and store unique passwords on behalf of the user is a great way to achieve this objective.
If your child needs an email address for school or for creating online accounts, it’s essential to make sure you educate them on how to spot a potential phishing scam. Phishing scams are most commonly emails that appear to have been sent from a trusted source, however, they have actually been sent by hackers. They will often request sensitive information be provided or will include a link to a login page that looks authentic, but often this is a front or a fake page set up by the cybercriminals to log the credentials that are entered. Make sure your child knows to never immediately trust any emails even if they appear to be from a trusted source, especially if they are asking for login information or if they include a link.
Letting your child have more freedom on the internet is all part of growing up in the world today. But it is essential for parents to provide their kids with these essential safety guidelines first.