5 Ways to Teach your Kids the Basics of Online Security

The potential dangers that await a child online can make any parent fearful of allowing them to spend time on the computer, tablet or smartphone. Parents immediately go into “worst case scenario” mode when it comes to internet safety, and they have every reason to.

Statistics are up across the board in regard to cyberbullying, predators targeting minors, easy access to inappropriate sites and e-mail phishing scams that can steal personal information.

Many parents aren’t able to monitor their child’s every move and click online, which is why it is so important to teach them about online security before allowing them to have unsupervised time with their computer, tablet or phone.

  • Set a Good Example

Children are observant. They learn many skills by watching their parents or other adults and then mimicking their action or behavior. Teaching internet safety is no different. For teenagers in particular, research shows that kids over 13-years-old tend to be more receptive to an empowerment-based approach to internet safety education.

If a parent practices smart online security in front of their child, they are teaching their child important lessons that can be used when they become older. Securing phones with a PIN passcode, entering passwords on websites and denying unverified downloads are all easily teachable moments that kids will remember.

  • Stay Up-To-Date on the Latest Cyber Threats

You can’t teach your kids the basics of online security if you aren’t aware of the latest news and trends in regards to cyber threats. New ways of targeting children, stealing information and other online dangers are constantly being thought up and utilized. On cybersecurity news sites like Security Zap, you can find the latest information about cyber threats and stay well-informed about any hacking trends, malware or scams currently circulating online.

  • Be Nosy

In an age of cyberbullying and sexting, monitoring your child’s device is a must. Having full reign to check browser history or text conversations, having total access to all apps and monitoring screen time are all requirements that many parents make before allowing their child to use online devices. They may not like it, but it is extremely important to be involved in your child’s online presence.

  • Utilize Parental Controls

In addition to closely monitoring your child’s online time, there are a number of different parental control programs that you can easily download to aid in enhancing your child’s online security. Parental control programs offer a number of functions you can use to block, limit or monitor the activities your child engages in while they’re online.

Parental control programs are a very useful tool for providing insight and peace of mind for when you’re unable to closely monitor your child yourself.

  • Enroll Your Child in a Course for Internet Safety

There are several helpful sites that provide a fun and engaging way to teach children about cybersecurity and the dangers that are present online, as well as ways they can avoid them. You can find programs and games designed for specific age ranges, from young children of 4-7 years old all the way up to teenagers. Several of these “Cyber Schools” provide games, entertaining videos, and age-appropriate stories to help children learn in a hands-on way.

Final Words

While the dangers that are present online are plentiful, starting to teach your child at a young age about online security can greatly increase their knowledge and power as they grow older. Many studies have been conducted in regard to children and internet safety, and they all seem to agree that children can be exposed to inappropriate or even dangerous situations if they are not properly educated about online security.

In a time when online interactions via social media are the everyday norm, a strong foundation of online security knowledge can inform your child’s safety for years into the future.

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