This Children’s Day, pledge the online security of your kids!

It’s Children’s Day and there couldn’t be a better day to pledge the security of our young minds, not just in the physical world but also virtual world.

While technology has improved our lives in ways beyond our control and provided our kids with an ocean of knowledge, we cannot ignore the risks that tag along. In fact, one of the major concerns today not just for parents but also teachers is the online safety of kids given the uncontrolled risks that they are easily exposed to.

The main challenge is that while we want our kids to grow with the evolving technology, we are unaware of ways and means to control their exposure to internet or make their online experience safe.

To help parents protect their kids from becoming innocent victims of cybercrimes like cyberbullying, due to lack of knowledge, here are few actionable tips:

Educate kids about online threats and the importance of cybersecurity

With internet becoming the biggest and easiest source of knowledge, it is practically impossible to stop kids from accessing the internet. Thus, the best thing to do is to educate your kids about online threats, their impacts and how to identify them in simple language.

Talking to kids about different kinds of malicious websites that they may visit, the dangers of visiting such sites, kinds of cyber threats, etc. can help them understand a bigger picture of the kind of threats they are dealing with when browsing the internet.

This kind of education and awareness can especially prove useful for the teens, who have increased access to social media and fall easy prey to cyber attacks.

Be open to listen to your kids

It can be a daunting task to keep a tab on the laptops, smartphones or other devices that your kids regularly engage with. A much effective and easier way is to have little patience and be open to listen to your kids. At times, general conversations with your kids may lead to unfolding of experiences that may have seemed funny to your kids but may put you on alert mode. If you are open to listening to your kids, this can also give you a fair idea about their online habits, sites they visit and how they deal with cyber issues.

Set limits on sites and internet access time for your kids

The amount of time kids spend on the internet is becoming an increasing concern for parents today, given the fascinating world that kids get stuck to. This uncontrolled internet usage time can not only expose your kids to unknown cyber threats, but also hamper their physical and mental development.

Thus, it is very important that you set limitations on the time your kids spend on the internet and also on the kind of websites they visit. This can prevent your kids from visiting malicious or phishing websites or sites that are inappropriate for their age.

A good way to easily exercise such restrictions, is to install an antivirus like Quick Heal Total Security that comes with Parental Control feature and allows you to set such limitations while allowing your kids to have a safe and happy browsing experience.

Explain them the danger of connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi

It is common nowadays for kids to visit their friends or some gaming parlour, to play online games together on their smartphones. While you may have installed protection for your home Wi-Fi connection, it is important that you explain kids about the dangers associated with connecting to an unsecured or free Wi-Fi connection outside home.

 Teach your kids about the real-life consequences of online threats

While it can be overwhelming for kids to understand the consequences of online threats on their own, a more realistic example could help them become cyber aware. Help them understand the difference between real and fake news and the impacts of sharing fake news on whatsapp group maybe. Explain them the risks associated with talking to a stranger online or accepting unknown friend requests on social media sites like Facebook.

Once kids understand the impacts that their unsafe online habits can have on them or their loved ones, they will be in a better position to differentiate between the right and wrong and themselves inculcate healthy online habits.

Sushmita Kalashikar

Sushmita Kalashikar

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