7 Things Your Kids Shouldn’t Do Online
Be safe, not sorry!
In an age of information sharing, where our social world has gone digital, our children are more at risk of exposing themselves to harm, starting with the personal tidbits they plant online.
It can be tough to keep up with the latest apps that your kids are using. Just when you’ve spoken to them about Facebook, they’ve moved on… to Instagram or Snapchat.
To help kids maximise the Internet’s benefits while minimising the risks, we have pin-pointed tips on how they can stay safe while clicking away.
So take note parents. Here are the 7 things that kids should never do online.
#1 Share personal information
Full name. Have your child choose a screen name that does not include their real first or last name to maintain the privacy.
School name. Prevent kids from revealing the name of their schools, even when chatting online.
Home address. An absolute no-no. Warn your kids against sharing your home address to anyone online.
Phone number. Restrict who your kid gives his mobile number to – cyberbullying can happen via handphones too.
#2 Share specific location check-ins
Never share their current location. Advise your kids not to get too specific with their social check-ins. Caution them against using check-in applications on their Facebook and Twitter pages that tag their whereabouts. Posts like these make it easy for predators to locate them.
#3 Suffer cyber-bullying
A link study reveals that nearly 3 in 10 Singaporean parents have had their online security compromised because of their children. Examples of cyber-bullying include mean text messages or emails, rumours sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
It’s very important to observe your kids’ reactions when using the Internet or interacting with other children on social networks. This way you can detect if there is anything wrong or if their behaviour changes.
#4 Believe they’ve won something
Kids are naive and may believe that the internet has decided to play Santa and hand them out a free iPhone 6 just like that. We all receive invitations to take part in a prize draw, and at times are even sent messages claiming that we’ve won something.
What is asked from us then is to provide personal information. It is crucial to tell your kids not to do as such.
#5 Download inappropriate apps
Downloading apps is something we all do. But not all download sources are safe or trustworthy. It is crucial to know exactly what they’re downloading and what information they are giving out to and receiving from these apps. Tell your kids to ask for your permission before downloading an app, and find about it yourself first.
#6 Agree to meet contacts online
Even if your child is being sent the sweetest picture of a young kid, with promises parents will be there, and agrees to a public place, reinforce this in your kids that they should never ever meet contacts from the internet in person.
#7 Enter websites with inappropriate content for children
These sites are intended for those 18 and older because of the content within. It could be anything from vulgar language to mature images and videos, which is more than inappropriate for children to stumble into (deliberately or not). Parental control features let you decide the websites that kids can visit and block those that are inappropriate.
Parents, please take note…
As a parent, we want to protect our children from the more undesirable parts of the Internet. But that gets so much harder as technology becomes more prevalent in their lives. But by educating them on the do’s and don’ts of online safety, we can help protect our kids from the perils of social media.
So please mums and dads, sit down and have that talk with your children today. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Are there any more online safety tips that parents should share with their kids? Let us know in a comment below.