A large number of kids have access to the Internet from an early age, which can be a double-edged sword. Besides being beneficial for educational purposes, there are so many potential hazards that you aren’t even aware of. The Internet is certainly very useful, especially when it comes to children who use it as a resource for school projects and homework. Communication with their friends via email is also fine, but there are some other situations that can put your kids at risk.
Cyberbullies, hackers, and many others potential dangers are at every corner of the virtual world, and children should be aware of that. Besides that, numerous video games are blamed on the violence they contain, and their bad effects are worsened by the games’ interactive nature. Here are five ways of protecting your children in the cyber world.
Teach Your Children to Protect Their Privacy
Your children should be aware of the fact that sharing their personal information on the Internet puts them at a huge risk. They can never be 100% sure who will see those, and certain people could potentially take advantage of them. You must teach them not to give their name, address, phone number, photo, or any information on their school without your permission. Since kids don’t have enough knowledge on the subject, they can easily become a target for hackers.
Talk to Them about Potential Dangers
Cyberbullying is an enormous problem in today’s society, and kids are put at risk of being potential targets for bullies. It can happen to anyone, and it certainly has severe emotional consequences for kids – especially those who are particularly sensitive and fragile. Parents should teach their children not to respond to those insults since it will most likely stop the verbal abuse from the bully. Also, safety tips are very important in the protection against phishing, because children are the ones who can be easily tricked into giving information on identity or bank account information.
Meetings with Virtual Friends Are Not Allowed
It seems that today’s kids prefer chatting online rather than hanging out face-to-face, which also leads to making new friends. However, they should know that their virtual friends should not be trusted – simply because they can never know who is sitting in front of the other screen. Even though it may be very tempting to meet their virtual friends in real life, this must not be done under any circumstances. Many people are pretending to be someone who they are not, which should be taken seriously by every child.
Draw a Parallel between the Real World and the Virtual One
Compare the virtual world with the real one because children really need to understand the connection between the two. There is a certain rule that has to be applied when it comes to communication on the internet which says: “If you wouldn’t do it face to face, don’t do it online!” If they wouldn’t be abusive to their peers in real life – they must not be abusive to their virtual friends either. Kids need to realize that they are talking to real people, despite the fact that these people are sitting on the other side of the screen.
Set House Rules on Using the Internet
Setting a sort of timetable for using the Internet is essential, as well as deciding on the list of websites your children are allowed to visit. Every parent should know that there are numerous sites that are both educational and entertaining, which are extremely beneficial for school kids. A wide range of cool math games are available online, and these are amazing because they help children learn through play and having fun. Besides that, doing Sudoku puzzles are also very useful, since it promotes logical thinking and helps them ‘train’ their brains because it requires attention to detail and decision-making.
No matter how useful the Internet certainly is, children will always have to be cautious. Parents have a major role here because kids don’t have knowledge about safety in the cyber world. Proper education is certainly the key to success.