Considering the children as young as they can operate phones these days, keeping them safe when using the internet is one of the most important challenges every parent faces. Our kids are growing up in a world full of technology, where access to the internet is a basic commodity.
The internet has become an integral part of our lives, from using cloud computing solutions for higher education and workflow automation to a wide range of software tools that allow us to express our creativity and even create different art forms. And our kids don’t remember times before the computers – these devices and technologies always existed to them. For these reasons, they might not be as cautious with their online interactions, and the responsibility of teaching them about internet safety falls on the adults in their lives.
From talking about keeping their personal information a secret, never sharing any passwords, using a screen name when writing on forums, to not buying anything online without talking to the parents first – the rules are plenty, but discussing them with your children will allow you to rest assured that they’ll stay safe when using the internet. Here are seven internet safety rules that you should talk about to the young ones in your life:
Be Careful While Posting on Social Media
The most important rule of internet safety that your children should know by heart is never to give out any personal information about themselves, including their real names, addresses, phone numbers, school names, or even photos. Giving such information is like leaving a digital paper trail for the bad guys to follow. Personal information could be used by the wrong people for malicious purposes – from identity theft to cyberbullying.
While we are talking about social media platforms, it’s essential to explain to kids that they should share as little information as possible about themselves and be careful when posting on these sites. Otherwise, criminals can use social networks to get information about their victims, which they then use to trick them into scams.
This is why children need to think twice before posting personal information about themselves online – especially if it’s their real address, phone number, or any other personal details.
Don’t Give out Their Passwords to Anyone
It’s easy for children to be tempted into giving away their passwords to their friends, but this is something that you should do your best to prevent from happening. It’s also crucial to explain to kids what could happen if they share their passwords with others – from the other person posting inappropriate content on their social network page without their knowledge to being tricked into downloading attachments containing viruses that can infect their computer or result in identity theft.
Don’t Click on Links or Open Attachments in Emails
This is another important rule of internet safety – never click on links in emails, especially if they come from unknown senders. This is because some email messages contain harmful viruses, which can infect your computer when you click on one of these links. By following this rule, your kids will be able to avoid making your computer vulnerable to attacks by hackers and spammers.
Another rule that works very well for preventing computer viruses and other types of attacks is never opening attachments found in emails, especially when they come from unknown or suspicious senders. If a message that arrives as an unexpected attachment contains a link leading either to a website or an executable file (.exe), it means that there may be a virus hiding inside it, so you should never open it when there’s no reason for doing so.
It is critical to double-check the sender’s email address and if it looks familiar and comes from someone you know, contact them directly to confirm the details from the email before clicking on anything you’ve found there.
Tell Parents About Any Suspicious Behavior or Contact
Since children might not know who to talk to when they experience anything suspicious online, you need to tell them that they should always tell their parents about such incidents.
It’s also crucial for parents to talk to children about how they can deal with these situations, which includes keeping a record of all the people who are contacting them online and reporting them to the police immediately if they receive any threatening messages or find someone is stalking them online.
Don’t Buy Anything Online Without Checking With Parents First
The last rule of internet safety deals with online shopping – kids should remember to never buy anything online without checking with the adults first. There are many different reasons why kids shouldn’t buy things online on their own – from having someone else open a credit card in their name to buying something that comes from inappropriate or scam websites, and even giving out sensitive personal information while purchasing goods or services online.
Kids today will be using the internet throughout their entire lives. These are some of the essential internet safety rules that you should tell them about – from protecting their personal information to avoiding malicious software distributed through emails, messaging, and other ways.
By following these rules, children will be able to avoid most threats that they might encounter online, which will help keep them safe while using the internet.