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As a parent, we should do everything that we can do to keep our children well and safe. Nowadays children start to use computer technology and Internet-connected devices at an early age.
It is a very sad thing that the internet is becoming a dangerous place for children to hang out. Cyber Stalkers, Child Molesters, Inappropriate Content, Cyber Bullies and more await the opportunity to teach your child. Such an experience could possibly harm a child for the rest of their lives.
Parents need to understand that this is an era of social media, where parents need to take extra care of their child especially in terms of mental health.
This is a requirement that all parents should realize. Therefore, to keep your child safe online, it is your duty as parents or if you are siblings to take better care of your child.
The following are the tips that you can use to keep your child safe online:
As your child begins to access the Internet, talk to them about what they are reading, watching, and with whom they are communicating online - and continue the conversation until they get older.
Ask your child which sites they visit or use the app that writes a list, and view them together. Talk to your child about what you think is appropriate, and remind them that it can be different for other parents and their children. So it is also important to teach them about their online reputation and be mindful of how they behave, interact with people, and represent themselves on such a public platform.
You should always monitor your child's online time, especially younger children. And also keep the computer in a central place in the home where it is easy to monitor your child's online work and viewing. You can try to make a compromise that there are no tablets, laptops, or gaming in the bedroom. You can consider checking browser history for younger children to see which sites they are visiting but it becomes difficult as children get older.
You should know about your parental controls/search restrictions offered by internet service providers, and web browsers because a flawless online search can lead to bad search results. For example, the Safe Search Filter feature on Google would block sites with explicit sexual content. Although it is not 100% accurate that by this way parents can control their child seeing the sexual content.
As adults, we know that some people online do not say who they are, but children and young people can be paranoid about their innocence with whom they are talking if you don't teach them about cyber-wise from an early age. Although your children may protest, yet you should know about your children's online friends within your child's social media circle and also monitor posts.
Most networks, devices, and devices have many features that can take someone directly to you by making your location public. Digital photographs include information such as date, time, GPS coordinates which can appear when you want. Some social media platforms hide this but some don't hide this, so you should know how much information you are sharing.
You should make sure that your child should know about the following things while using social networks
It is important that you should know your child's online time, especially younger ones so that you can ensure that they do not develop bad habits. You should set a fixed time for your child to remain online and you should not forget to make this a non-negotiable time. You should turn off the home Wi-Fi before bedtime so that everyone can get a time-out from the internet.
You should keep control of your family’s digital performance because personal statements posted on social media and the internet can be used in unexpected ways. Children and parents should protect their images and information and so you should teach your children to control their digital performance. You should also teach them to use the privacy settings on their social media platforms and don't post all their friends on social media.
If your children use social media networks on a regular basis, you should teach them to be thoughtful about posting and sharing information. You should encourage them to ask them before posting any information such as name, home address, phone number, email, and also the name of the school.
You should lead your children by example and model the positive online behaviour that you want your children should use. They follow you if they see that you remain respectful and cautious when you are online and so you should also limit your screen time. You don't want to prevent your child from experiencing educational, social, entertainment, and other benefits that they can get from the internet. So you should give them the skills to make the most of it and teach them the ways to avoid the dangers.
Finally, I can say that you should create positive and safe online interactions with family, friends, and you. You should help them to avoid misinformation and identify the age-inappropriate content that can increase anxiety. You should also spend time with them to recognize games, apps, and online entertainment that can be appropriate according to their age. You should encourage healthy online habits in your child such as keeping in mind what clothes they should wear while attending class and also they should be kind and respectful to classmates.
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