Keeping Our Kids Safe Online

Surprised girl looking at a magic tablet. Child with tablet computer

While the advent of the internet has opened many doors to a parallel, virtual world, this world has a dark side too. Without any fault of their own, kids may be exposed to cyber-bullying, porn, violence, stalkers and many other dangerous and scary things.
Their young minds are very palpable and what they are viewing on the internet may mold their personalities as growing adults. As it is not possible to completely shut our kids away from the cyber world, the least we can do is keep them safe. Here are some tips you can use to protect your kids online.
Lend a Helping Hand
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When your kid is first learning to use the internet, show him the way around this new cyber world. Letting them browse unsupervised may lead to them stumbling upon inappropriate content.
 
Teach Them to Protect Themselves
No one can teach them protect themselves better than you. Some ground rules are:
  • Do not ever share personal information online
  • Do not share passwords.
  • Do not share your personal pictures.
  • Do not respond to hurtful or indecent messages.
  • Do not agree to meet any stranger who you met online, no matter how nice they might seem virtually.
Cyber-bullying
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Cyber-bullying is very real, it can hurt your kid more than you could ever imagine. They are at a very delicate stage where any criticism is taken very personally. They might fall into a spiral of self-loathing or depression. Teach your kids to never pay heed to comments given online.
Keep Kids in Sight
When your kid is using the internet, as much as possible try to keep an eye on what he is browsing. Kids are innately curious and will open any mysterious links. This might expose them to violent or indelicate content which are not age appropriate. This can also later on lead to heavy emotional scarring.
Set Down Limits
You are after all a parent and are looking out for your child’s safety. They might feel like you aren’t giving them privacy, but they will only appreciate it once they are older. Set down house rules like the timing your kid is allowed to spend online, and also what kind of content they are surfing.
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Make yourself approachable to your kids so that they feel comfortable coming up to you in case they do come across any unwanted or disturbing content.
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