Here are some strategies for parents to avoid their children being subjected to online abuse. An open conversation with your youngster about their Internet usage, keeping screens and devices visible, understanding parental controls, and knowing who your child’s online friends are.

Internet Safety For Kids

The Internet may be a fantastic location to learn, buy, play games, and interact with friends. Unfortunately, there are also predators, identity thieves, and others on the internet who may wish to do you harm. It’s critical for you and your kids to be informed about online risks in order to stay safe online. Start reading our guide and learn everything about internet safety for kids there is to know.

Ben Grindlow

Ben Grindlow is the founder of ProXPN, a company that provides reviews about VPN products and services. Ben's interest in cybersecurity and privacy led him to start ProXPN, which has become one of the most well-respected VPN providers in the world. Ben is passionate about his work, and he is constantly exploring new ways to improve ProXPN's in-depth guides.

Last updated: 10:10AM 6/17/2022

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In the twenty-first century, to effectively carry out most of your daily activities you require internet access. This does not apply to adults alone but to children also.

We are in a digital age, this makes it vital for everyone; both adults and children to be active in the online world and take full advantage of the endless benefits of having internet access.

People spend most of their time in the day on the internet, they engage in various activities for different reasons like engaging with friends in chat rooms, watching videos online, either on YouTube or TikTok, they may even decide to play online games.

As much as the Internet has so much good to offer there is also a negative side to it. With various contents easily accessible on the internet, you may wonder if kids are safe online.

There have been records of missing and exploited children, kids being victims at the hands of online predators, exposed to inappropriate content, etc.. this all happened to kids who engaged in uncensored online activities.

It’s important to take such things seriously to ensure online safety for kids all around the world.

Not everything on the Internet is dangerous for kids, the internet provides a huge platform for learning and development which is very important In the life of every child.

Being a parent or guardian is a tough and important job that requires proper monitoring and care for your kinds of onsite and online activities to ensure that they are safe from online dangers.

Here are some important guidelines that will help you achieve this goal.

Keeping your kids safe online is a job that starts with you.

As a parent, you cannot teach what you don’t know. It’s easier to teach your kids how to surf the Internet safely and still maintain responsible online behavior if you are well-informed about this.

You should pay close attention to various potential online risks that could be harmful to your kids.

Some of these online threats appear as:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Hacking and impersonating
  • Fake news and dupes
  • Game Addiction
  • Inappropriate content (violence, lovemaking, discrimination, nudity, gambling, etc.)
  • Spam, spyware, malware, and phishing
  • Grooming

These are some of the online apps and websites that are popular among kids that you have to be conversant with to ensure online safety for your kids:

  • Minecraft.
  •  Roblox.
  • Facebook.
  • Instagram.
  • YouTube.
  •  TikTok.
  • WhatsApp.

These websites and apps were not designed to be harmful to kids, but both adults and kids have access to them. This implies that children can have access to content that’s meant for adults.

Furthermore, The inventors of the websites are primarily concerned about making money and may not be conscious of the fact that some of the contents that are being uploaded may be harmful to kids.

After acquiring this knowledge, you give your kids some online safety tips that are guaranteed to keep your kids safe online.

Since they are kids, you will have to pass this information in the simplest way possible; you explain how the Internet works and what it is all about.

Instead of leaving them to surf the Internet alone, you guide them on what websites to visit where they can see fun, interesting and educational content that helps in their personal development rather than harmful content. Doing this is vital when it comes to keeping children safe online.

Don’t just focus on the fun part alone; inform your kids about various online threats, online predators, and other dangerous content they can encounter online.

It’s important to give your child the benefit of the doubt that he will follow your guidance on what you have taught him.

With this in mind, you can grant your kid internet access, allow him to interact with friends, use the internet independently with certain restrictions, and monitor your child’s time online.

Furthermore, you can suggest certain educational and fun content for them. Be well informed about the contents your kids are accessible to so that you can help them with their questions. If you are not sure about the right answer, you can use the internet browser for research and get the right answers.

Teach Your Child to Use the Internet Safely

.After you have acquired this knowledge, you then proceed to give your kids some internet safety tips that are guaranteed to keep your kids safe online.

Since they are kids you will have to pass this information in the simplest way possible, you explain to them how the Internet works and what it is all about.

Instead of leaving them to surf the Internet alone, you guide them on what websites to visit where they can see fun, interesting and educational content that helps in their personal development rather than harmful content.

Don’t just focus on the fun part alone, inform your kids about various online threats, online predators, and other dangerous content they can encounter online.

It’s important to give your child the benefit of doubt that he will follow your guidance on what you have taught him. With this in mind, you can grant your kid internet access and also allow him to use the internet on his own with certain restrictions and also monitor the time your child spends online.

Furthermore, you can suggest certain educational and fun content for them. This allows you to know what they are being exposed to so that you can be of help to them if they have questions.

Example

Children tend to remember things they see. You can show your kids how to use the search engine to access various websites and open online accounts.

Inform your kids about things they may encounter online that are harmful to them, such as inappropriate websites and apps with adults, rude content, swear words, and fake news.

You should also show your kids sites with fun and educational content that is useful for them.

Make Rules about What Is and Is Not Allowed

Protecting your kids from online dangers is vital and beneficial to your children. But because they are still kids they may not fully understand why you are making an extra effort to keep them safe from online threats.

To help your kids make the right decisions you may have to set up rules concerning their online activities to reduce online risks that may affect them negatively.

  • Firstly they must be aware of the setup rules and informed about what they are permitted to do and not to do when they have online access.
  • It’s important your child spends quality time doing other things apart from using a device and also agrees on how long he will spend while using the Internet every day and diligently sticks to it.
  • Choose which website and gaming sites he is allowed to visit with a specific time limit.
  • Specify which games, apps, and websites your child is not allowed to visit.
  • Teaching kids that sharing personal information online with strangers online such as photos, names, home addresses, videos, etc. is dangerous.
  • Tell your child what his response should be when he comes in contact with inappropriate content or is being bullied online.
  • Writing these rules down and having your child read and agree to them will do a lot in ensuring online safety.
  • Screen Time by Age

Child therapist and media educator Frederique Olland has developed a guideline for screen time among children of different ages.

  • Age Category Maximum Screen Time
  • 2 to 4 years, 30 minutes per day
  • 4 to 6 years 1 hour per day (4 times 15 minutes)
  • 6 to 8 years 1 hour per day (2 times 30 minutes)
  • 8 to 10 years 1 to 1.5 hours per day
  • 10 to 12 years 2 hours per day
  • 12 years and older 3 hours per day

Screen Time by Age

Child therapist and media educator Frederique Olland has developed a guideline for screen time among children of different ages.

Age Category Maximum Screen Time

  • 2 to 4 years, 30 minutes per day
  • 4 to 6 years 1 hour per day (4 times 15 minutes)
  • 6 to 8 years 1 hour per day (2 times 30 minutes)
  • 8 to 10 years 1 to 1.5 hours per day
  • 10 to 12 years 2 hours per day
  • 12 years and older 3 hours per day

Educate Them About Online Groomers

As children increase in age, the internet becomes a more risky place for them. Most teenagers are naive about certain online threats and may tend to be more open to people they meet online and dig deeper into their online activities.

As a result of this, they could be victims of child molesters, bullies, dupes, etc. Teaching your kids how to handle themselves well irrespective of what they encounter online with such people is very vital.

  • Keeping their identity as private as possible and your child’s personal information should not be easily accessible to strangers.
  • Inform your child that the engagements they have with people online are not enough to properly know who they are because people are not the same online, and in real life, there is always more to their identity than what they portray.
  • Filling in a fake age while opening an online account may result in someone innocently making advances at them, so they must fill in their real age.
  • Your kids should use proper screen names and photos not to send the wrong signals to the wrong people online.
  • They should not just accept excessive compliments innocently, and they should be careful when someone flirts with them. Being open-minded about this could be dangerous.
  • Meeting up with someone you met online is not safe; they should be well informed about this and prohibited from doing so.
  • Inform them that they should not open every attachment they receive online.
  • If the person they are chatting with brings up a conversation about sex and nudity or other inappropriate topics, they should end the conversation immediately

It’s Important to Talk About Various Experiences, Positive and Negative Once.

It’s Important to Talk About Various Experiences, Positive and Negative Once.

Most patients don’t take time to talk to their kids about their experiences online; this is vital because it gives you clear insights into their online world, and you can get adequate information about what they encounter online.

These experiences are not the same because they visit various websites, games, forums, and social media platforms.

As a parent or guardian, it’s crucial to be open-minded about the things your child is involved with online. It’s also important if you are accessible so your child can also come to you and share the things he may encounter online.

Furthermore, talk to your kids about how they spent their day both online and offline. Genuinely ask questions about their activities online. Let them know that you are truly interested.

Let them open up to you about their negative experiences and the positive ones, and allow them to share their feelings with you. This may be easier for them if you also open up about your own experiences and are willing to share some with them.
It’s important not to judge while listening; remain calm and give them rapt attention.

Spend time online together, and engage in various activities like games or social media platforms. Teach kids to see the internet as a place for self-development.

It’s Important to Set Up Parental Control Software

Parental Control helps to put your kids in the right environment online and safe from online threats. Engaging in the right online activities is also key and this can be made possible with the use of parental control on their internet-connected devices and even on the website itself.

These are some of the reliable Parental Control Software available:

FamilyTime

This parental control software gives you control over many activities your child is involved in on the internet.

  • Setting a time limit for your kids to use the internet.
  • You can stop some apps from functioning and, at the same time, enable others.
  • You can also prevent your child from visiting certain inappropriate sites by setting up internet filters.
  • Finally, you can monitor your child’s activities online, including the sites visited, games played, and social media platforms.

You must understand that your child can make mistakes and visit some sites he was not supposed to visit or engage in prohibited online activities. Remember, he is still a child, so you must give room for error.

You must also give your child a little bit of privacy to not scare your child away; this may result in trust issues.

Kids Place

Kids Place gives you the option to choose the online activities your child can engage in.

In a real sense, you can create an online environment for your child on any device of your choice where you have access to what your child is doing online and have control.

Features
  • You can prevent unwanted online purchases
  • Set internet usage time limits
  • Block unwanted calls and instant messaging
  • You can create numerous profiles
  • Enable and disable Wi-Fi connections

Kid’s Shell

Kid’s Shell has a very playful interface that is user-friendly. It is very similar to Kids Place. Kid’s Shell provides a safe online environment for kids with a smartphone or any device connected to the Internet.

Features
  • Kids can’t click on pop-up ads.
  • With the Pro Version, you can set time limits.
  • You can also block incoming calls (Pro Version)
  • You can put a child lock on the apps that you want.

Supervision Through Devices

An effective way to ensure online safety is to build software restrictions on your devices’ operating systems.

You will get detailed information on setting parental control on various devices and operating systems like Windows, Android, and iOS. There are lots of articles online about setting parental controls on a router.

when the kids are older and more mature, it’s wise to give them more freedom regarding internet usage. At this point, certain restrictions become unnecessary, like using surveillance apps to monitor interest use.

Set Up Apps Properly

An essential feature of any device is the quality of applications; that’s why installing the right applications is very important. You can consider certain educational and informative apps, like YouTube, where your kids can learn new things about crafts, arts, cooking, e.t.c.

TikTok is also popular among kids, so you must take the privacy and content section very seriously and make the right setting to guarantee online safety while setting up this app.

There are also certain search engines specifically made for kids to ensure online safety. Taking advantage of these search engines will help to promote online safety.

YouTube

Being one of the most popularly visited websites, YouTube is full of content appropriate for kids and otherwise. So if not properly managed, your kids could be exposed to adult content.

It’s best to install YouTube kids to be on the safe side on your device so they can be exposed to quality content for kids.

The shows are made for kids with specific age categories.

They include content for:

  • Toddlers (4 years and younger)
  • Young children (between 5 and 8 years old)
  • Older children (between 9 and 12 years)

Disabling the search function restricts them from watching other shows except for the ones you have chosen for them.

Without using YouTube kids, you can disable certain functions on the regular YouTube app, so contents that are not suitable for children are not accessible.

TikTok

To ensure that you are using this site safely, you can take these actions:

With the family Family Pairing option, you can restrict certain functions and allow you to change certain settings to streamline what your kids have access to and allow them to watch what you want them to.

Features of Family Pairing on TikTok
  • You can limit and manage screen time and restrict access to certain content.
  • Disable or limit chats with friends only
  • Prohibit inappropriate content in the TikTok feed
  • Influence whether or not your child can like or comment on feeds
  • Change who can see which videos your child likes

Minimize the Risks

Here are some important tips that can help you reduce the risk of apps and websites on the internet.

  • Pay attention to the PEGI score of the app, which indicates if that content is suitable for a particular age.
  • Switch off the camera of the tablet or smartphone; you can also use tape to cover the laptop’s webcam.
  • Set up a VPN to mask the IP address.
  • Install reliable antivirus software, such as BitDefender and Kaspersky.
  • Encourage your kids to use secure public WIFI networks.

Conclusion

Online safety for kids cannot be overemphasized especially in these times where various reports of missing and exploited children, kids being exposed to harmful content online, and online bullies making kids very uncomfortable which may influence their self-image negatively.

As a parent, no price is too much to pay in ensuring internet safety for your kids.

Frequently asked questions

Cyber Predators. Online sexual and other predators now frequently stalk youngsters, taking advantage of their youth, lack adult supervision, and trust. This might lead to kids being lured into hazardous personal situations IRL.

Discuss with your children about the potential hazards that they may encounter online. If at all feasible, move your kids’ PCs to a common area. These characteristics are worth looking for: Anti-malware, Anti-spam filtering, Phishing protection, Parental controls, and Real-time web browsing monitoring.

Children may have a better sense of the risks of disclosing personal information, as well as how to identify unethical actions or stop cyberbullying if they have the appropriate e-safety knowledge.

Here are some strategies for parents to avoid their children being subjected to online abuse. An open conversation with your youngster about their Internet usage, keeping screens and devices visible, understanding parental controls, and knowing who your child’s online friends are.

While there is no network that is immune to assaults, a sturdy and efficient network security system is critical for safeguarding client data. A competent network security solution helps organizations reduce the danger of data theft and sabotage. Network security protects your workstations from harmful spyware.

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