With lockdowns and home online schooling, we have already been pushed to our limits, as teachers and parents. Throw into the mix, small children and teenagers, who are spending a lot of necessary time on tablets and laptops to get an education. Now we have an extra concern – cyber security threats.

So, how do you teach your children to use the internet safely?

Lucky for us, there is a way to teach children from a young age, to use the internet safely.

Kids know that the internet is a magical entity that answers every type of question imaginable. However, they don’t know anything about viruses, online privacy, phishing, social networking etiquette, and any other internet safety or security issue you can think of.

Social media is a major factor in many childhood friendships. But kids can be exposed to certain risks in cyberspace. We need to help kids remember that cybersafety should always be a priority.

Here are a few tips on what you can do to protect your kids and give them Internet security.

  1. Update security software – Protect your computer and you’ll be protecting your family against scammers, hackers, and other online threats.
  2. Protect your child’s identity – Remind your children to never to give out personal information, such as their name, home address, or telephone number, to anyone they don’t know through either email, Twitter, Facebook, or in online chat rooms or bulletin boards.
  3. Talk to them – Talk with your kids about the online risks of interacting with strangers through the computer and sending notes and pictures into cyberspace. To ensure younger children know the basics of staying safe online, you can use techniques like online games and videos that define computer terms such as “cyberbullying”, “netiquette”, and “virus protection” in a more comprehendible way for them.
  4. Promote appropriate online interactions – You can use online games again to show kids how to make responsible decisions about online communication and teach them about their digital citizenship. Online activities include communication in chat rooms and emails.
  5. Create unique passwords – Teach your kids to use different passwords for every online account they have to help prevent others from accessing their personal information. Make sure that you monitor each account and make sure your children know that strong passwords need to include elements like symbols, numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and no names or words that others could easily guess. 
  6. Monitor their online activity – Monitoring your childrens’ online activity can help keep them safe. There are various parental controls which can help you find out what options could work best for you and your family.
  7. Prevent cyberbullying – Cyberbullying—bullying using electronic technology—can happen anytime and anywhere. Teach your children to think through what they post on the Net about other people and the consequences those posts could have if they are unkind or mean.  Also, keep communication with your child open and speak to your child if you suspect someone is bullying him or her.

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