Gadgets have become an integral part of children’s lives, and it’s time to add children’s online safety education to the rules of safe behavior on the street and at home.
At the same time, modern children highly value personal space and freedom, so in trying to protect your child, it is important not to lose his trust.
Why it is important to talk about cyber hygiene:
• In Europe, children start using the Internet at the age of 7 on average.
• Every third Internet user is under 18 years old.
• Children aged 9-16 spend an average of 88 minutes a day online.
• 40% of children from 4th to 8th grade talked on the Internet with a stranger.
• The Internet itself is not evil, but unfortunately, there are people who can use it for “dark purposes”.
• Among the dangers that threaten the young user, we can name bullying, theft of personal data, extortion, financial theft, kidnapping. Given all this, it is very important to instill Internet safety rules in the family.
Here are some basic tips on how to keep children safe online, which will reduce the chances of being caught by criminals.
Change passwords in time
Control the constant checking of accounts and passwords on all devices in the house. Teach your child not to use words like “love”, a combination of the numbers “12345”, date of birth, and other easily recognizable data as a password. A funny phrase is more reliable than any “qwerty” password and is better remembered.
Explain to your child that sharing accounts and passwords with friends is a bad idea, a virtual analog of sharing a comb and a toothbrush. This threatens both the child’s image and the security of family data (passwords, bank details).
Charge gadgets in one place, not in the bedroom
A 2016 study of children’s online use of Safe and Secure Online found that 49% of children were spotted online after 11 pm – that is, in the absence of “live” parental control. For this reason, you should introduce a family rule: all devices of family members during sleep remain at the central charging station in the common area of the house. In this way, children do not feel the injustice of “parents can and I can not” and the temptation to take their phone to bed late at night. They wake up in the morning refreshed with a fully charged device.
Learn how to securely maintain accounts on social networks
Teach your child to set limits on social media accounts. You can restrict access to the page and allow it only to friends. So the child will stay in touch with classmates, but its content will be hidden from prying eyes. Remind that the published post will remain online forever. Many employers look at the accounts of future employees – what a person lives, what he is interested in, what his hobbies are. After a few years, a careless joke can cost a job in good company. Explain that destroying a reputation is very easy and hard to build. It’s never too early to think about how a social media account can affect your future career.
Teach secure online payments
Internet scammers are constantly honing their talent. Now criminals rely not so much on technology as on social engineering: they deceive, they extract information. Any information concerning bank cards or passport data should not be disclosed to third parties. Explain how payments are made online and why you cannot disclose your card details (especially those on the back). You need to learn to protect your data from childhood.
Don’t post your every move on social media
This nonsense is common among moms and dads who are fond of blogging. They are often unaware of the downside of this bad habit. It is common to check in with a child at school, in a park, cafe, take a lot of photos and stories with a detailed description of the day and route. But are you wondering who can use this information?
We do not know how many cases of kidnapping occur due to excessive detail of the child’s life on Instagram and Facebook, but excessive online activity clearly simplifies the task for attackers. And the child, looking at his parents, gets used to the same irresponsible behavior on social networks.