Safety should be the top-most priority for every young web surfer of this age. We have seen advancements in educational technology and remote learning in the past year. It is important to keep students safe online as most of the students directly have exposure to the internet. We must take care of cyber safety for kids.
Experts are indeed doing their best to ensure that everyone is safe online. They are always promoting measures to keep the data safe. But no matter what, there are always ways through which hackers can exploit your data.
But if that’s the case, how can our students be safe online with whatever resources we have?
Let us know first, what is Cyber Safety.
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What is Cyber Safety?
In this huge web of data and information, it is hard to assure the safety of internet users. In such an environment, cyber safety is very important. It provides some of the ways to ensure that our data is safe on the internet.
In layman’s terms, cyber safety promotes measures promoting the safe usage of the internet, especially to protect against viruses, fraud, or other forms of attack.
These can happen with anyone. It can happen with the government, individual, or organization. It must be the primary goal of internet users to keep their information safe from these attacks.
This article will focus more on cyber safety for kids.
Sounds fair? Now let’s hop into the importance of Cyber Safety for kids.
Why is Cyber Safety for Kids Important?
Cyber Safety for kids comes up as a top priority for these young users. They are vulnerable to numerous ill effects of the internet. To save them from the bitter side of the internet, elders must make kids aware of cyber safety.
These days, there are many common misuses of the internet. Parents are always concerned about what content their kids are watching, reading, or even sharing. Over years of research, parents are the most concerned about the following issues:
- Child’s Privacy
- Excessive Screen time
- Exposure to inappropriate content
- Contact with strangers
- Cyber-bullying, aggression, and online hate
- Rumors and lies
- Child abuse and exploitation
- Distraction from academics, relationships, or sleep
How can we Improve Cyber Safety for Kids?
Let us discuss exactly the things that we can do to keep our kid’s privacy safe online. Let’s see how we can protect ourselves from the harms of the INTERNET.
1. Aware them about Privacy
Kids always rely on their elders when they try to learn something from scratch. In this case, it would be learning about the internet. And if they are learning it from their parents, it is your responsibility to make sure that it is done rightfully.
When they start growing up, it is obvious that you will teach them about good and bad. For example, you will warn them of strangers, drugs, and safety. In the same way, you should teach them about their online privacy. This is mandatory for this generation.
If you are concerned about your kid’s privacy online, then you must set some rules right from the beginning. Beginning refers to that time when they start to own their smartphone or a PC.
As a parent, you must set rules on how they use the internet. Monitor their timings, look at what kind of content they are viewing, etc.
Also, you can set privacy settings on their devices that will filter the unwanted negative content out of the landscape. Nowadays, many tools can help you limit their usage and keep track of what they are doing online.
2. Make sure they share Positive Content
Every coin has two sides. Similarly, the internet has two sides too. The good, and the bad. However, in recent times, the negativity across the internet has crossed boundaries. There is so much negative content revolving around the web.
And your kid can enter that circle. That’s why it is important to monitor their browsing once in a while. You will get to know what they are up to.
While the kids are on social media, they get to interact with many people from around the globe. Sometimes, these strangers can exploit data that they collect from kids.
For example, they might unknowingly share their phone number or address. These are strictly private entities and are not meant to be shared online. Once strangers get access to these data, they can use them for any cybercrime.
Make them aware of what content they should watch and share. Because even if they share some inappropriate content by mistake, it can cause serious trouble.
That’s why make sure that they can differentiate between good and bad before they enter the world of the internet.
3. Keep yourself Updated
One of the reasons kids get into the cyber trap is due to the lack of knowledge. And parents are their first teachers. That’s why you must be well-updated with the rules and regulations that will ensure the safety of these kids.
As a parent, you must understand the threats related to it, and ultimately know how to continue to teach the kids how to survive with it.
Once you pass your knowledge to your kids, they will start to use them properly and make the best use of technology and the internet together.
4. Teach Online Behaviour
When kids go online, they open themselves up to a lot of opportunities. They socialize, share, and get to know so many people online.
For them, this is a good thing. Because they get to know about things that their parents did not have access to when they were kids.
Now, the thing that most parents are concerned about is how they are socializing with other people and how that’s impacting their kid’s personalities.
Many ill activities are happening on the internet every day. If the kids get into that, it can be worrisome.
So we must teach them what are the things they must not practice while they socialize with someone. These are:
- Cyber Bullying
- Cyber Stalking
- Identity Theft
If you or your kid ever come across these practices, then it is recommended that you take the help of someone who can get you out of it.
If things go wrong, you can always seek help from the police. They have a dedicated cyber-crime branch.
5. Know the Methods to Stay Safe
Prevention is better than cure. As a parent, you must know the methods that are being used to keep your kids safe online. To ensure your kids do not compromise their privacy online, there are some steps to take. They are as follows:
- Keep your smartphones and computers up to date.
- Set very strong passwords. Weak passwords can be broken easily.
- Beware of online scammers.
- Never open unknown links or addresses.
- Do not visit less secure websites.
- Shop safely, and pay more safely. Never give bank details to unknown e-commerce sites.
- Always use secure internet connections. Beware while using open wifi networks.
These methods are not just meant for your kids but for any individual who is using the internet. So be sure next time you are scrolling your feed, you are keeping these methods on your checklist.
6. Tell them about the Digital Risks
It’s important to take the time to learn more about the different threats kids face online. Hackers can use your data illegally and you can land in trouble.
There are many online resources from which you can learn. But here are some of our recommendations on how to lower digital risks:
- Avoid obscenity: There is too much obscene, and vulgar content circling the web. You must know how to protect kids from them. All these contents will put a bad influence on them. Use a safe search engine that blocks negative content.
- Phishing: Using this method, hackers obtain personal passwords, phone numbers, and other sensitive data. When someone unknowingly opens an unknown email link, the virus gets into your system and steals sensitive data.
- Malware: It is a kind of software that is written to damage a system or steal valuable information. Kids often download files or softwares containing harmful viruses or other malware.
7. Encourage them for following Good Practices
At last, staying safe online is a practice that gets better with time. The more information you gain on cyber safety, the safer you are on the internet.
Always stay updated with the technology and also keep your kids updated with the trends in cyber safety. Make them aware of the harms and risks of the internet. Once they understand the bad side of the internet, they will not make bad use of it.
If something goes wrong, you can always seek help from someone who has a deep understanding of cybersecurity. There are cybersecurity engineers, cyber-crime branches, and network safety engineers from whom you can seek help.
If you see your kid having an interest in knowing all these kinds of stuff, then encouraging them is the best thing you can do. Also, you can teach them some basics of cybersecurity with so many resources available on the internet.
You can enroll them in Codevidhya‘s coding courses where they can learn the fundamentals of computer coding that are curated just for kids.
At last, it is utterly important to encourage your kids to make good use of the internet. Encourage them to follow good practices. Cheer them up and tell them to create awareness about cyber safety amongst their peer group.
This is an investment that will never go in vain.