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Online safety for children

Online safety for children

The internet can do a lot to make our lives enriched, it can also be a scary and dangerous place especially when it comes to children. In these times, where everything has gone virtual and children are exposed to the use of devices and access to the internet with various platforms like social media, online gaming platforms, keeping our children safe online and turning them into proper internet users can be a bit overwhelming.

What is online safety?

Online safety is trying to be safe on the internet and it is the act of maximizing a user's awareness of personal safety and security risks to private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime. (...Wikipedia)

As Parents/Guardians, there is a need to constantly reiterate to our children what should and should not be done online. As individuals and like many others who had this internet in our faces without prior education of the pros and cons, we have learned a lot about the positive and the negative impact of the internet.  The internet has it’s benefits for children and it also comes with challenges. some benefits are; 

  • It gives them access to a wealth of information.
  • It helps them in problem-solving with the use of interactive websites and games that help children learn to solve problems.

  • It helps to build the language skills of children knowing they can ask the computer anything they want to know and carry out research.

In this time, we have the issue of scams, cyberbullying, sexual predators ( pedophiles). Agreed, you don't want children to be too familiar with these terms but it will be good to let them know about it as they are being given license to use the internet.

Statistics show that online crime is becoming rampant and children are the fastest-growing victim group, it also shows that just over half of parents moderately supervise their children’s internet usage. These are some challenges the internet poses to us and the more reasons why we must keep our children safe online.

 

So, what can you do as a parent to keep your children safe online?

Here are a few tips:


  1. Children should only be connected to a central internet facility where the control on some sites can be activated and monitored by an adult.
  2. Children must be given reasonable time and usage limits on the internet and on their devices. 
  3. Parents should ensure that parental blocks are activated on the search engines that are being used by children.
  4. Children must not share private information like house addresses, family photos, passwords, phone numbers online.
  5. Children should be encouraged to report any uncomfortable online communication to an adult.
  6. The use of social media and other networking sites should be avoided.
  7. Parents should deliberately spend time online with their children.
  8. Productivity is key. So, we can always ask them what they have been able to achieve while they spent time on the internet.
  9. The internet gives opportunities to learn, to socialize, to create memories and connect with the world, trying to keep children off the internet entirely would be like keeping them away from food or water. They’re going to get online, your job as a parent is to help them be good digital citizens.

    Thank you for reading through.

     

     

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