With the increased usage of computers and smartphones, more children are getting exposed to the online world. Hence online security becomes an important concern for kids and teens. Being a parent, you need to safeguard your kids from the world by implementing ideas that ensure they are safe and hacks that could help them deal with uncomfortable online situations. Below we have discussed some best ways of safeguarding teens, tweens, and in-betweens who remain online consistently.
Never Allow Your Children to Post Personal Pictures or Information
Keeping your personal life out of the public eye is challenging with increased exposure to social media. Unknowingly kids share their images at home or other places that tell the world about the location they are at. When you take a picture using a GPS-enabled smartphone, it includes metadata along with additional information embedded in the image. Such information can be easily used to track location your location.
As per a survey by Common Sense Media, over 53% of American children aged below 11 and 84% of American teens owned smartphones. Strangers can take advantage of such information for accessing and locating minors through image tracking. To counter this, you can disable location settings for the camera to eliminate metadata. Both Android and iOS devices support disabling location settings. For computer-saved images, you can upload them to data-stripping free software for Linux, Mac, and Windows Operating Systems.
Prevent Your Kids or Young Adults From Sharing Their Password
Protecting your personal information online is important to prevent the chances of being hacked. Sharing passwords with friends online exposes your children to data breaches that can have dire consequences. Even if you share such information with a trusted family member online, everything leaves a digital trail. Information transmitted through messaging systems or emails is there to stay forever irrespective of the fact you try hard to erase them. It is possible to retrieve and use deleted data without your knowledge.
Experts also warn about another issue related to passwords. They advise you to not use the same password for multiple websites and accounts. Professionals call it password repetition and it is a common reason for identity theft. CIS (Center of Internet Security) recommends protecting passwords by securely noting in a notebook and not on any computer.
Stay Informed With Whom Your Children are Chatting Online
Although it seems impossible to track each person your child speaks with online, you need to be diligent about their involvement online. There are a number of both free and paid apps that allow you to secretly monitor your kid’s online security such as Pocket Guardian, VISR, and Bark.
You can keep your communication open and honest in case you are concerned about invading your child’s privacy. Kids surfing the web should know that not everyone they come across online saying who they are the has right intentions. You should start this vital conversation the moment you know your child has an online presence. Having a normalized conversation about online safety with your child is the best way of mitigating any possible problems that may occur.
Ensure Your Child Takes Permission Before Download Any Game or App
Internet games are a major attraction through which children usually start their online interaction. There are websites promoting ads encouraging children to download unknown programs or games based on recent searches. In case someone downloads unauthorized data, it might infect your computer with malware or malicious spyware that often makes you vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Both Apple’s App Store and Google PlayStore offer you parental controls for better internet safety for kids allowing you to prevent unauthorized app downloads. You may also use apps like Boomerang that encourage your children to take permission before downloading.
Set-up Your System in a Central Location
Your children should be informed that both computers and the internet keep a lasting record of online activity. Ensure their online behavior is not be different from how they act in person. Like they should never walk up and hold a conversation with a stranger, they should do the same online.
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