The “Achilles heel” of those who love to have fun on the internet is online security. We live in an era where the online world is confused with the real one. For this reason, Internet browsing safety is not exclusive to the virtual environment – this may even be the weak point of digital entertainment.
Parents today need to be on top of everything that happens in the digital world, but controlling the kids’ access is more than a challenge. The best thing is to prepare the children to prevent threats and other situations that could put them in danger. Children and young people spend a lot of time on the internet performing tasks, attending classes, learning, investigating, having fun, and relaxing.
While they are having fun, they are more distracted from the online safety aspect. What is needed, therefore, for your child to have fun without risks on the internet? That is the key question in this article that we have prepared for you and your family. Pay attention to the following tips, which we gathered from our experts.
For prevention, transparency is key
First and foremost, young people need to recognize that there are risks related to online safety. This allows children and adolescents to understand that, when witnessing an uncomfortable or threatening situation, they should report what happened to their family members, teachers or trusted adults.
We covered this topic in more depth in our article “ Digital Safety: Protecting Young People in the Virtual World ”. Young people like to be treated transparently, so talking to them about online safety is a good prevention policy. Keeping an eye on their cell phone usage goes an extra mile in protecting the young ones from online dangers. By being listened to by adults, young people feel safe to ask questions and ask for help. This goes for harassment as well as technical blows and invasions.
How to broach the subject of online safety with children?
Childhood is open to learning for life, and understanding pros and cons is not just an adult thing. It is necessary to dialogue with the child so that he understands that he can have fun, but that he must protect himself from some dangers. The points that need to be addressed with the little ones are:
- The internet is an environment where you can do many fun things: chat with friends and family, have fun with online games , conduct research and read books, watch videos, movies, among many other discoveries.
- With the increase in school activities at home, online classes are also a point of contact between the child and the outside world.
- However, with so much to do on the internet, the child cannot leave aside online safety precautions , so that he does not feel uncomfortable or threatened and can have fun with peace of mind
- Using the internet safely is not difficult, just follow some tips. Whenever you notice something strange, call a responsible adult to talk and, if necessary, make a decision.
- In real life, you need to be on guard against people with bad intentions and not everything you read or hear is true, right? The virtual environment works in the same way, as it is a resource that is not foreign to real life. For example: just as you need to look both ways before crossing the street and be careful when talking to strangers on a daily basis, you also need to be careful on the internet.
Make it clear what it takes to prevent and protect yourself on the internet
Nothing like giving good tips on how to act prudently to ensure your little one’s online safety. Start with the following tips, which are essential for your child to be careful when surfing the internet.
1. Have fun, but be forewarned
Security is a serious thing, and you don’t joke about it. Keep an eye out for anything that’s unfamiliar to you – from someone you don’t know wanting to chat to an unfamiliar technical question popping up on your computer screen.
2. Be careful who you meet online
There are people who pretend to be friends on the internet, but they are not who they say they are. Fake profiles are created to do something that is not right or for others to have fun deceiving you. So don’t share information about where you live, passwords or phone numbers with someone you met in a video game, for example.
3. The list of “don’t” is important:
- do not allow to be filmed,
- do not send photos of yourself;
- do not make an appointment with friends you met on the internet;
- do not enter websites or links sent by this unknown person.
4. Communicate problems with adults
If someone behaves strangely, asks for something to be kept secret or threatens you, tell your parents or responsible adult immediately what happened.
5. Real friends?
Always remember: true friends are those children and their parents know personally.
Any of the above situations can happen to your child, whether he is a child or a young person. Therefore, it is important to give the necessary degree of seriousness to the matter. Another way to show how serious this is all is to explain to the little internet user that he shouldn’t create fake profiles either to play with his colleagues or with strangers.
This understanding teaches respect for others and shows that, if you do, problems can be caused for others and for yourself. You will be deceiving someone else by impersonating someone who does not exist, and the most aggravating thing: this can even have serious consequences, with the case being taken to court. All this is because online security is no longer considered.