Allowing your child access to the internet can help them explore their interests and keep in touch with family and friends. It also provides them with an edge when it comes to their studies at school.
However, like most activities if your child isn’t supervised properly when using the Internet it may leave them exposed to material that is inappropriate, or worse, become the victim of an online predator.
Taking proper precautions, as well as supervising what your child is doing, allows them to enjoy all the benefits of the internet. But the task of protecting your child online has become ever more challenging in recent times.
Here Are 9 Steps To Protect Your Child Online
- Use a good quality internet security suite such as those developed by Norton Internet Security and place it all computers you have in your home. Using just a basic antivirus program won’t provide the level of protection you’re seeking for your child. Instead you need a program which uses a full firewall in addition to the basic anti spyware.
- Make sure to keep your home network secure by using a good password and security settings. Call your ISP (Internet Service Provider) if you’re unsure about what to do and they will guide you through steps.
- It is important you teach your child not to click on links, respond to ads or open emails from unknown senders. They should also learn to not open an attachment from a friend if they aren’t expecting one. Many of the most recent malware and viruses are spread through attachments which on the surface seem innocent and harmless. Once the attachment is opened, the virus is free to infect the computer.
- It is vital you teach your children to use good passwords on their accounts and devices they use. They need to make sure the passwords they select are complex and unique. Of all the passwords they use on accounts the most important ones are for their email and social network ones. If a hacker is able to gain control of their social network account they have the opportunity to scam their friends. For email accounts it is possible to reset the password on all their other accounts by simply using the “forgot my password”
- Teach your child they should never share their account passwords with others, and even their best friend. If you are made aware of it, immediately change the password and tell your child why they should keep their access details to themselves.
- When your child has finished using a computer, whether at home or school, make sure they know the importance of logging out once they have finished. This will prevent others from posting or emailing something even if it just as a joke from their account.
- For parents like us, the issue of online privacy is a big concern. It’s important you take the necessary steps to keep your child’s personal information protected at all times. Teach them to limit how much they divulge through public forums or their social network sites. As a parent however you can help keep things under control through learning more about the parental control settings available on your phone, tablets and computers as well as any gaming devices. One particular tool worth investing in to protect your child’s privacy is free from Norton called “Norton Family”. It is available for both Macs and PCs.
- Spend time speaking with your child regularly about safe ways to use the devices. Although they’re well versed in how to use them, many pay far less attention to the safety steps to take to protect themselves. They turn into wizards with regards to the various features, but aren’t aware or in many cases, bothered to take any measures to safeguard their privacy.
- Should you come across your child is being cyber bullied then make sure that they know not to respond to the messages being sent. Get them to keep copies of these messages as evidence when reporting the situation either to your child’s school or the website where they originated from. If the messages include any type of threats then report immediately to the police or appropriate authority. The police now have teams of officers who are dedicated to dealing with cyber bullying.