Online habits have changed dramatically over the past year, and adults are not the only ones spending more time online. Since the pandemic hit, limits on screen time for kids were tossed out as they turned to online platforms for school classes, activities, games and entertainment.
This increased digital time helped spawn new cyber threats that put their online and physical safety at risk.
While you’re busy online grocery shopping online, banking, or working on a job project, your young ones have other fish to fry in the digital world. They connect with friends, play, and post on social media from the internet-enabled devices in your household.
So whether you’re working from home or heading to the office, it’s essential to teach your child about online threats and the importance of good cyber practices to protect them from online predators, cyberbullying, identity theft and malware:
Take the necessary precautions to ensure your child remains safe online:
- Keep online accounts private – make the necessary privacy settings available on most online platforms. Doing so can ensure that his profile information can only be seen by close friends and family
- Ensure they understand the importance of not accepting friend or message requests from strangers – you can never be sure if the individual contacting you has good intentions
- Encourage limiting the information and photos they post online – you need to assume that any information you share or make public on the internet can be seen or intercepted by anyone
- Help set up strong, unique passwords for all online accounts and maintain operating systems of smart devices up to date at all times
- Advise children to always ask for assistance or advice when downloading new apps on their device
- Urge them never to provide their phone number, home address, school name or other personal information
- Underline the importance of openly communicating with you and reporting any suspicious activity on their accounts
- Make sure they never respond to a threatening email, messages, posts, or text message
- Teach them about email-based threats, phishing and fake pop-ups that may appear on their screens
- Watch for any warning signs that suspicious individuals may target your child, such as spending long hours online, phone calls from strangers and withdrawal from family activities
- Use a security solution with advanced parental control that filters out any inappropriate content and offers the possibility to limit screen time