25 May Keeping kids safe online during self-isolation
During time in isolation, it’s inevitable that kids and teens will be spending more time online. So, how can parents keep their children safe online?
There are a few things, as parents, you should be aware of when your kids are using computers and smartphones.
Here are a few things to be aware of and tips for ensuring your kids stay safe online.
Risks parents should be aware of
In order to ensure your child’s online safety, there are some risks to be aware of.
All of your kids’ comments, photos and videos can be viewed by friends, family and sometimes potential predators.
This is why it is so important to make sure your child’s privacy settings are secure and they are informed about the risks of sharing things on the internet.
What your kids share online is likely to stay online forever, unless actively deleted.
Depending on the nature of what your kids and teens share, the issue of permanency means things can be dug up later on.
It’s best to make sure your kids understand this so they watch what they say and post because it could affect them now and in the future.
The act of catfishing is more common than you might think. Catfishing is impersonating someone or creating a fake account to trick people over a long period of time.
Most catfishers intend to get money in one way or another, however, they can also be predators with different intentions.
This is why it is so important that your kids only accept friend and follower requests from people they know personally.
Grooming is the predatorial act of talking to children and young teens online in an attempt to eventually have sexual relations.
Groomers attempt to build an emotional relationship overtime in order to eventually lower children’s inhibitions.
It is critical that you know who your kids are talking to online. Simply ask them when they are chatting online and if they seem secretive, it may be best to have a discussion with them.
Trolling occurs when someone attempts to cause harm or conflict online. This might be to an individual in the form of nasty comments or it can also be towards a group of people.
The aim of trolling is to get attention. The best way to deal with a troll is to delete nasty responses and block them so they can no longer ‘troll’.
Cyberbullying is targeting a certain person online in an attempt to demean and hurt them.
Cyberbullies may be a person your child knows or a random person that is just out to hurt them from the safety of a screen.
Dealing with cyberbullies is just like trolls. Delete and block immediately.
If you think your children may be experiencing cyberbullying or involved in cyberbullying, you might find our article on how to combat bullying helpful.
Sexting is sending or receiving sexual or suggestive messages, images or videos.
Make sure you are familiar with sexting laws and keep your children informed with the risks and dangers of sharing suggestive content to other people.
How can parents keep their children safe online
To help your kids stay safe online, make sure you keep them informed and tell them what is safe and unsafe to share online.
Make sure your kids understand that they should never share:
- Address or location
- Phone number
- Bank details
- School or workplace
- Sporting clubs
Stay Safe Online
Teach your kids healthy and safe online practices, make sure they are familiar with these guidelines when using the internet:
- Only accept follow requests that they know
- Block people they don’t know or don’t trust
- Be wary about the comments, pictures and videos shared online
- Protect their identity and make sure your privacy settings are set as required
- Be aware of the dangers and laws of sexting
If you are experiencing difficulty with your kids’ online activities or offline activities, you might be interested in finding out how a Veteran Mentors program could help.
We are here to make positive changes in your kids’ lives. Contact us today and find out more.