These days teenagers know more about the online world than the adults. Your child might be familiar with many technical things those might be unfamiliar to you. You are his guardian and his protector in the world beyond the screen but is that ever enough? Doesn’t his constantly active social media handle increase your anxiousness?
Moreover, what about the granny of the house? She might be learning the “ABC” of the online world for now. However, is she aware of the demons waiting to attack her on screen?
The developments by web developers are on the rise. The online world is developing more than ever before. A new game or a new program pops up every other day. What rises along with the popularity of these games is the hazardous activities of the malefactors. In such a situation, you ought to be worried about the safety of your online. You don’t have to sit idle either. There are several ways by which you can ensure that your family is treated right online and doesn’t fall into the clutches of malpractices. Let’s see what online safety measures you need to follow to protect your family or child safe on the Internet.
Make sure that your home Wi-Fi network is secure
Your home Wi-Fi is what your kids use to access the online world. Since its range covers your entire house, keeping an eye is a Herculean task. Intruders might not only misuse your bandwidth but also harm you by infecting your computer or smartphone with harmful malware. They may even use your PC as a means to launch an attack on someone else. There’s plenty that you can do to steer clear of such a situation. Your home wifi must be secure at all times. You must use an efficient password for your router. Moreover, you can also encrypt your network. It will make it invisible and hinder access.
Don’t ignore online privacy policies
Social networking sites like Facebook though come with an adorable advantage of letting you connect with the rest of the world, come with their own set of disadvantages too. Cybercrimes on these social networking websites are on the rise. Make sure that your kid doesn’t open an account on them unless he is mature enough to distinguish between private and public spheres of life. Moreover, make sure that you go through the privacy policies of these sites before creating an account. You must also be aware of the punishments these sites mean to inflict on those engaged in practices like phishing and identity theft.
As mentioned earlier, keep social networking out of bounds for your kid if he is under 13. Moreover, it is crucial that you talk to your kid about cyberbullying and predators on a regular basis. He should be aware of smart social networking tactics. Instruct him not to share personal information like full name, address and birthday on his profile. You can tell your loved ones all about your vacation plans when you meet them personally. Refrain from sharing them on social networking websites. It is not necessary for you to “check-in” to a public place whenever you go out to have fun with your friends. Moreover, whenever you upload a photo have a close look whether it features any personal information like the number plate of your car.
Keep an eye on your kid’s online gaming practices
Games like Xbox Live are all fun when it comes to interacting with new people and making great friends. However, everything out there has a flip side. Bullying and harassment on these platforms are rampant. It is highly advisable to use a nickname and avatar in the world of online gaming. As a parent, you must know who he is playmate is. The control of the parenting controls in the gaming consoles should be at your fingertips.
Encourage your teenager to practice safe blogging
Blogging is a fantastic way to let the world know of your views and your standpoint on most heated issues. It improves a person’s personality as well as writing skills. The skill of blogging mental health as venting out your emotions is always the healthier option. However, these blogs are also the favorite read of stalkers. Teenagers must not share their personal information through their blogs. Either by rebellion or ignorance, teenagers go stray sometimes. Possessing deep empathy for their situation, you must look out yourself for the content in their blogs so that they don’t end up committing a blunder.
Equip your family computers with a parental control
This step might seem like a harsh measure to you. It also goes against my earlier discourse on how crucial it is for you to foster open communication with your kids. However, looking at the broader scenario, you should not feel guilty because it is not your wild speculation which is making you do this, it is your concern for them and your belief in their innocence that at times they might not even know that they are opening a “wrong” website.
Download software from trusted sources
The internet has plenty of free movies, games, and songs. They are mainly lucrative for kids. They install software from random sources without certifying the credibility of the source. The best way is to decide a list of trusted sources and make your entire family aware of them. They should be instructed to avoid any other source. Make it mandatory for your kids to take your permission before installing anything. Have a close look at the license agreement yourself.
The task of ensuring the online security of your relative and children might seem daunting at first. However, if you follow the golden rule of “Don’t do online what you wouldn’t do in person,” it is not unachievable. Stay aware, stay informed and stay safe.
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