Internet safety for kids: Expert Tips on How to Keep Kids Safe Online.

With the rise of digital adoption post COVID-19, it’s almost become impossible to keep children away from the internet.

Whether the internet is a boon or curse has always been debatable, but in today’s techno-savvy world it has become more of a necessity. The internet is an integral part of our lives; we, and our children, rely on it for information and socializing. But it is also a web of many risky things, such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and online predators. One wrong click and a lot of harm can be caused, especially if it’s a child in front of the screen.

Did you know?

60% of parents feel their child is exposed to risks like accessing inappropriate content, sharing personal information, feeling isolated, having a negative self-image and viruses, fraud and scams, from being online.

Inculcating safe cyber practices with your children is the need of the hour.

Here are some pointers which can help you:

  • Open communication:Building trust and having an open discussion is by far the best way and highly recommended. Today’s kids are technocrats and master new technology, apps, sites, games etc. very quickly and often are excited to show what they can do or have learned. Use this opportunity to engage with your child. Learn to speak the latest internet language like PIR, TDTM, GNOC to build a rapport. Then talk about the vulnerabilities of internet, importance of cyber safety, cyberbullying etc.
  • Set ground rules:Discuss rules like no downloading/accessing sites without talking to either parent, spending a limited number of hours on the computer/mobile phone, etc. Follow the rules yourself or explain why the rules are different for adults.
  • Lay down safety instructions:Explain that personal details like address, contact information, personal photos, usernames and passwords, the current location should not be shared with unknown sites or random strangers as they are potential threats for cyberbullying or online predators.
  • Monitor your child’s online activity:Be aware of when your child is on the net and what they are surfing. You can enable or add parental control settings or software on your computers or mobile devices. You can also get software that helps block access to sites and restricts personal information from being sent online. Other programs can monitor and track online activity.
  • Internet browsing safety:Install child-friendly browsers like Kiddle, Kidtopia, KidRex, etc. for children which filter out the pop-up ads and show age-appropriate content.
  • Talk about cyberbullying:alk to your child about how mean/ rude behavior should not be shown nor accepted online. It is very important for your child to know that they can approach you if someone is bullying them, without any fear of repercussions, as many times children feel their internet privileges will be taken away if they report cyberbullying.

Did you know?

One in five parents worldwide says their child has experienced cyberbullying at least once. India has the highest rate with 37% of parents confirming cyberbullying with 14% of repeat cases. A study by Ipsos.

With proper precautions and supervision, we can help make cyberspace safe for our children.

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