Ways To Protect Your Child from Cyber Crime
My daughter just turned 4. Like any other kid, she too is fascinated with cheesy youtube videos. She is only allowed for merely 5-10 minutes a day that too only sometimes to distract her mind and mood. But she is growing and I am extremely concerned about how to take control of things and save her from becoming a juvenile victim of internet dangers, as the Internet is accessible nowadays 24/7 from various mediums like laptops, tablets, smart-phones.
It becomes harder to protect the child in the absence of any fool-proof strategies, but I hope by following a few practices which I am sharing below, will reduce the chances of your child becoming a victim.
Use of Parental Control Software
The first and foremost point to consider while deciding your child’s online safety is to go for a good Parental Control Software which will make their activity much more transparent. It records your Child’s Internet Activity and blocks inappropriate material. A more advanced version offers many superior features including the ability to restrict access to certain keywords, games, and websites. Some functionalities also report about children’s activity online and alert parents via text message whenever they perform any restricted function. Speak to your child that his/her activity is going to be monitored while being online and what are your expectations from them.
Click With Caution
Talk to your kids about not clicking on the links in emails or download any unnecessary information. Teach them how to hover your mouse over the link to make sure it is from a reputable address. Few signs should be kept in mind like spelling mistakes, odd emails from popular companies, messages urging quick action are all phishing tactics to install malware on your device. Before clicking on anything doubtful, check out the company’s website or call the customer-service department to enquire about the email sent to you. Fortunately, most antivirus software prevents such kinds of emails from reaching you.
Bookmark The Favorite Sites
If a child surfs the net more than the normal time chances are there they will come across inappropriate images or other unsuitable material. It is advised to bookmark the sites which are regularly visited to avoid spam.
Never Ever Reveal Passwords To Anyone
A moment of poor decision risks all the important information stored on the device. Teach your children the importance of keeping passwords a secret. Create passwords that have a combination of upper and lower case, symbols and numbers to confuse password stealing bots that scour the web.
Be a Good Netizen
The Internet has become the new playground for some people who don’t hold back anything, creating scenarios of unwanted situations most of the time. Bullying, Ranting doesn’t stop there even. Unfortunately, at times, children become prey to such Cyber Bullying. In-spite of all essential Cyber safety skills, kids are kids and mistakes can happen. Teach your child to never be impolite or aggressive while being online. Never participate in negative posts.
The law protects Cyber-Bullying victims, so they can take help from the judiciary. Make them comfortable enough to speak out for themselves, whenever faced with such a situation and help someone who is going through this phase.
Get In Control of Social Media Platforms
Social Media is the new Oil for the Internet these days. And since it’s launch there has been a tremendous increase of its account holders throughout the globe. For children, such platforms act as magnets and online child predators are always on the lookout for such naïve targets for their illicit, unlawful and unjust motives.
Try to get your children away from social media as long as possible. Else if they have accounts, monitor your child’s activities and keep a check on the privacy settings. Keep it to the highest level of privacy. Teach your kids not to follow or accept a friend’s request from an unknown sender.
There are many risks associated with social accounts but stalking and bullying are the real dangers you need to protect your kids from. Displaying current location, which normally everyone does, is not the safest thing to do, as it helps online child predators to know your whereabouts. To deter such actions, disable location services on your child’s phone and apps.