It wasn't long ago that parents taught their kids about the dangers of talking to strangers in public. Nowadays, parents have much more to worry about than their kids' in-person interactions with strangers.
The internet has quickly emerged as a serious threat to the psychological and physical wellbeing of children across the globe. It's important to teach kids how to safely use the internet and warn them of its dangers so they can form good habits early. Here are some tips.
Start with Critical Thinking
Teach your kids to approach the web with a healthy suspicion. Though youngsters have limited critical thinking skills, they are certainly capable of questioning the legitimacy of websites and the statements of other web users. Teach your kids to question the motives of other internet users while online. They should be aware of the fact that predators often use the web to lure children into in-person meetings that have the potential for a deadly outcome, for example. Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if a stranger reaches out to them.
Teach your children to avoid clicking links and messages that are out of the ordinary, seem suspicious, or require a download. They should know that if they accidentally come across an inappropriate website, message, or image, they should shut down the computer and tell you what happened right away.
Don't Download Anything
Estabish a rule that your kids must ask your permission before downloading anything from the internet. Most kids can't tell the difference between a legitimate download necessary for a program update/functionality and a potentially malicious download. Teach your little ones to never click “yes”. Clicking yes on downloads, installations, alleged updates, scans, etc. can be a covert means of sabotaging your computer. Make sure your kids know downloads can carry viruses and malware that could ruin their computer. If they know such a download might put their computer out of service for weeks or months, they will think twice before clicking!
The Internet Can Be Forever
Most kids will eventually find their way into internet chat rooms, message boards, and social media. They will be tempted to post their own comments, share personal information, and possibly tease others. However, if you make it crystal clear that everything they post is indelible, they may be less inclined to post haphazardly. Make sure they know that any pictures, videos, and text they post can be saved by a program or anyone who sees it, even if it's deleted minutes later. All it takes is for one person to see the information, download, share, or take a screenshot of it, and it could be around for a very long time.
Online Interaction Isn't a Substitute for Real Interactions
The days of kids coming home from school and heading outdoors to play with their friends until the sun sets are long gone for many. Too many kids resort to the web for pseudo-social interactions. Let your kids know internet addiction is very real and can decrease their quality of life. Kids should know their online friends are not substitutes for "IRL" friends they can spend time with. If necessary, set a daily time limit on your child's internet use. This will force your kids to find other means of entertainment and interaction.
Need Expert Tech Assistance?
Whether you need IT services, assistance with the cloud, network support, data backup, asset recovery, or other tech assistance, the Dymin team is here to help. We even make house calls to help you solve your computer problems.
Our anti-virus and web defense service's straightforward user experience design makes it easy to block those ever-expanding online threats like viruses, spyware, and phishing attacks. This is the perfect solution for business owners/managers and parents searching for a means of preventing unauthorized web use.