Ensuring the ‘cyber safety’ of your kids

Children these days spend a lot of time on social media platforms. Although these can be of benefit to your kids, there are also serious risks.

Here are some cyber safety tips to keep your children safe while using the internet.

Explain the dangers lurking in social media platforms

According to a recent study, most children put themselves in risky situations when they interact with strangers in private chat rooms, offer up detailed information about themselves or go out to meet strangers they befriend online.

Sexting and cyber-harassment is also on the rise.

With these dangers, it is understandable why parents feel worried about their kids using the internet even when under strict parental control.

However, instead of banning or freaking out every time your kids go online, explain to them the potential dangers lurking around on social media.

Make them aware of online sexual predators and explain to them the perils of texting using sexually suggestive words or sending strangers images of themselves.

Cyber safety tips for kids

  • Encourage your children to tell you right away if they come across something sinister on the internet.
  • Remind them never to reveal personal information such as their address, as well as home or mobile phone number without checking with you first.
  • Prohibit them from ever meeting up with the stranger they’ve met online without asking for your permission first. If you don’t see any danger in the meeting, ask your child to meet that particular person in a public setting, and insist you go along as well.
  • Teach them how to post safe selfies of themselves or others online. It must be an appropriate picture that does not convey any sexual connotation.
  • Do not make war with others when online.
  • Do not do anything illegal online.
  • Only allow your kids access to the internet for a few hours every day, and set rules on what kinds of websites they can visit. Make it clear that they have to follow your rules or you will not let them use the internet at all.

Tell them to keep their passwords confidential.

Make sure to know which websites your kids surf and the software they download and install. Let your children know that they should be careful when downloading software online because it could contain viruses that can damage the computer and steal important information such as bank accounts or security numbers.

TThis article first appeared in hellodoktor.com. It was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.