Kids today have 24/7 access to the Internet via smartphones, laptops, PCs, tablets, game consoles and what not. Which means that it more difficult than ever, almost impossible to control what your child sees or looks for on the Internet. Which consequently puts them at a greater risk of being exposed to and exploited by Internet threats.
The advent and advancements in technology have doubtlessly created a sophisticated world of users but teenagers and younger children still need guidance as to what they should be viewing, sharing and posting on the Internet. We have brainstormed today some strategies using which you can ensure your child’s safety online.
Sharing Personal Information Online
Internet is full of insecurities. Scams, bugs, trojan horses, online frauds and what not. A survey reveals that over a third of the children have shared their key personal information online. 41% revealed their full name and a 38% sent personal photos. A fifth even shared the residential address. It is alarming that children as young as five are sharing their personal information online with strangers..The survey also shared that a third quarter of the parents admitted that they don’t monitor their children’s use of Internet.
You are familiar with basic precautions you have to take using the Internet if you have children. Think twice before publishing anything online. Don’t give away your information to a stranger over the Internet. It is one of the biggest threats the Internet knows of. What you post on the Internet can be seen by anyone, including your children. So be sure of what you post. Malwares and scams are a trap many people fall for. Before entering or sharing any personal, sensitive information, look for signs that tell that the web page is secure.
Take Charge of your Online Reputation
Where do you hide a dead body? On the third page of google results. Online reputation is yet another phenomenon of the Internet. How do you know who you are on the Internet? Well lets see what you can do in that regard. Look yourself up on the Internet. That sure does sound interesting doesn’t it? Google yourself.
Check for web as well as images of you. Set up Google Alert to keep track of any new activities. Find yourself on your social media. Evaluate and reevaluate your online impression. Put all your data in one place. Keep your profiles and accounts organized and clean. Most importantly, keep your personal and professional lives, online, separate. You may want to have separate email address for both your professional and personal life. Having said that, you know nothing really can truly be personal on the Internet
Monitor your Data Continuously
Many people are in the habit of accessing their email accounts and social networks from public domain computers. This may include libraries, cafes, unprotected WiFi hotspots etc. This puts you at a potential risk of losing your data or identity of being hacked by the predator that are looking for every opportunity they can find.
Avoid as much as you can using public computers for accessing sensitive information or giving any important information such as your bank credentials. Malware might have been installed on these. Be aware of the programs that automatically redirect you to your email. NEVER enable the ‘remember your password’ features even if offered. If it is an emergency and you don’t have a choice, remember to erase your browsing history, fill-in forms such as your email username and passwords and cookies.
Cyberbullying ain’t much different from the traditional bullying. The only difference it being tech savvy. In a world such as today’s, no one is safe from the threats of the Internet. Educating one’s children can help a lt. Talk to them. Tell them the dangers they might encounter online. Tell them to feel free to talk if anything is bothering them online. Also tell them to never be participant in any such activity. On the other hand, monitor your child as well. Spend time with them while the are using the Internet. Know they sites they visit. The people they follow and the things they post.
We have some choices as to what to do when one come across a bully. Blocking and reporting are instances of this. Talking to authorities such as schools can also help a lot in eliminating cyberbullying as it originates from there.
Scams are Always There
Be aware of emails you receive that you don’t recognize. Such emails usually come with links to be clicked or software programs to be downloaded which can ultimately harm your computer. Some of these programs can contaminate your computer with viruses while others will steal your personal information.
Some of the emails appear to have come from your bank. Look out for them. Especially if they ask for your personal or financial information. No legitimate customer service asks its customer’s credentials online since nothing really is private on the Internet.
Develop a habit of not responding to emails from unknown people, clicking on the links contained by them or typing in your personal or financial information if they ask for it.