Tips to keep kids safe while they are online
The amount of time kid’s spend online has tripled in the past 10 years, and with advancements in technology, it is clear that this number is not slowing down, according to MSNBC. Even younger children are using smartphones, iPods or iPads – 50 percent of 5- to 8-year-olds know how to use and have used these devices. These numbers can make some parents feel uneasy, as they may not have the control they want over their child’s internet use. However, there a few ways for parents to keep their kids safe while online.
The news source reports that the first thing parents need to do is talk to their child about what actions are appropriate online. They should also tell their child they will be monitoring them. Parents should ask for all of their passwords and usernames, along with set up their own accounts.
According to OurKids.net, social networking is one of the most important aspects to go over with a child. First of all, it is necessary for kids to understand that no matter what their privacy settings are, people are still able to access a person’s profile, especially if the child is not completely aware of how to protect themselves.
MSNBC also reports that parents need to be aware of the signs of cyberbullying, as 49 percent of kids said they have been victim of it, but only 32 percent of their parents believed them. If a child becomes withdrawn, spends long hours on the computer and starts acting differently, it may be a sign they are being bullied.
Keeping up with internet slang can also come in handy. Acronyms such as PA, POS or PAW relate to parents being in the room. They mean Parent Alert, Parents Over Shoulder and Parents Are Watching, respectively, the media outlet reports. The earlier parents start talking to their child about internet safety, the better. Plus, keeping the conversation going is also important so kids know the parent is still monitoring them.
Parents who want to take another step further to ensure their child is safe may want to purchase parental control software, which can allow a parent to see exactly what the child is doing online.