The Internet has pointedly changed the way our children interact with the world and connect with others, and while the Internet is fundamentally a great place for children to learn and connect with others, there are also areas of the Internet that are not appropriate for children. With this in mind, we have put together a guide for parents to help safeguard their child's experience on the Internet.
Keeping Children Safe Online
In order to access the Internet, you'll need to have a trusted web browser installed. A web browser, or browser, is software application used to display a web page. A web page can contain images, videos, or other content from the Internet. The current most popular and secure major web browsers include:
Safari, Opera, Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. There are also alternatives to these browsers that are specifically designed for children; you can find a list of them here.
The Internet has grown substantially in recent years, and children access and use the web in many different and ever-changing ways. Each online service may potentially require different steps that need to be taken to ensure online safety and security.
One of the most popular video-sharing services among adults and children of all ages is YouTube. Unsavory links, content, and comments can turn up at any time on YouTube and can cause damage to your computer, or put your child's safety at risk. One way to ensure children are safe when browsing YouTube is to enable "Safety Mode" which hides inappropriate content from children when enabled. You can find a guide on how to quickly and easily enable safety mode here.
Many parents share their computers with their children, or have a designated family computer where several family members have access to the Internet.
While this is perfectly normal, there are some risks when sharing computers with children. A child may still fall victim to online scams and is even at risk of identity theft. If you're a busy parent, you may not always remember to log out of your online banking services, Amazon account, or any other online shopping account which your child-and potentially an online malicious character-may be able to easily gain access to. An easy way to avoid these situations is to create separate accounts for each member of the family, or a designated kid's only account. With user accounts, you are able to share a single computer, while having unique settings and preferences for each user, and setting up safety features for each account. You can use the guide provided by Microsoft here to learn how to create a new user account.
While it may now seem conventional to allow your children to create Facebook and Twitter accounts, there are many dangers on all social media platforms, and steps that should be taken to safeguard your children from online predation, cyber bullying, and identity theft. If your children are creating social media accounts, then they'll be creating passwords for those accounts which need to be secure and kept from others. Stolen passwords can lead to cyber bullying, where the password is used to gain access to a child's account and then able to post unwanted or inappropriate images or information for all to see. You will need to discuss with your kids the importance of password security, never giving others their password, and how not to fall victim to online phishing attacks. A guide to password security for kids can be found here.
Here are a few quick steps you can take now to effortlessly help in safeguarding your children online and on social media:
- Set an age limit
- Monitor usage
- Keep the kid's computer in a well trafficked area of the house
- Know all of your children's passwords
- Make sure your children create private accounts on social media
- The Internet is increasingly becoming mobile and wireless, monitor cell phones, tablets, and gaming devices.
- Talk with your kids about their online activities, who they're connecting with on social media, and keep an open discussion about online safety
This information was brought to you by K Alliance. K Alliance specializes in online safety training videos for parents who want to keep children safe. For more info on K Alliance, visit http://www.kalliance.com/solutions/corporate/.