Protect Your Children from the Web of Dangers :
- The Internet provides us useful data, information, and knowledge for personal, social, and economic development and it is up to us to utilise our time on the world wide web in a productive manner. At the same time the internet is a dangerous and vulnerable neighbourhood, especially for children and teens from cybercriminals, stalkers, social media posts, excessive gaming habits, will have severe, costly negative consequences that can come back to bother them later in their lives. Children may unknowingly expose their parent’s or families’ information to online scammers, for example, by accidentally downloading malware (Attached with the free game) that could give cyber crooks access to their parent’s bank account or any other sensitive personally identifiable information used later for social engineering crimes.
- Protecting children on the internet is a matter of creating awareness and knowing what dangers lurk and how to safeguard against cyber threats. There are plenty of cybersecurity software’s can help protect against virus and malware and other technical threats, the most important safety measure is open communication with your children and teaching / guiding them to good Digital Wellbeing practices is the need of the day.
Important Signs to “Reset, Reconnect and Refocus” while using the Internet :
- Did you see anything online that made you feel uncomfortable?
- Unknown people online were contacting you, but you didn’t want them to?
- Unknown people online being mean to your friend online?
- When is the right time to stop an online activity?
Important things to consider for better use of technology :
- I treat everyone with respect whether online or off
- My consent is the same whether online or off
- Keeping our accounts private
- Stick to safe sites that are made for kids age
- Don’t accept messages from strangers or even from friends of friends
- Never use a credit card or any do any financial transactions online
- Don’t disclose any information that is personally identifiable
Top Five Dangers to Consider to Protect Children :
- Being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material using technological means. It is through electronic technology includes Cell phones, Computers, Social Media, Text messages, Emails, Chat rooms, discussion groups, and Websites on the internet. (a) Cyberbullying is widely used for teasing, made fun of, spreading rumours online, sending unwanted messages & defamation. (b) Bullying can happen anywhere and it depends on the environment & socially isolated youth. (c) Cyberbullying is more targeted at youth and people on the internet.
- After effects are Emotional Distress, Frustration, Embarrassment, Sadness, Fear & Depression. Interference with School Work or Job Performance, Quit Job, Drop Outs or Switch School. Delinquency and Violence, Substance & Smartphone Abuse and Suicide & Running Away from Homes.
- Online predators a real threat to children and teenagers in this connected world. A cyber predator’s goal is to lure and manipulate a child’s belief system of posing themselves as if they care for the child along with his or her family. An Internet predator creates an fake online profile that emotionally replaces the trusted parent or partner in a child’s mind. The tragedy of Internet victims is that they are not only physically but also equally emotionally injured. Cyber predators create a feeling of guilt and shame as in many instances children have met their fake friend will-fully.
- Children do not yet understand social boundaries. They may post sensitive or personally identifiable information online or on their social media profiles which are not meant to be visible in public. This might be like Posting awkward personal moments, their home addresses and their family trips online. Avoid snooping on children, instead, speak frankly to your children and discuss public boundaries and what they mean for the family as a whole.
- Phishing is a malicious attempt to steal your personal information and gain control to an online account of yours. The scammer will send you a fake email that links to a fake login to your favourite game or provide alike in exchange for a free game. They are asked to verify a bunch of information and the worst damage that can occur is that they are asked to enter the credit card information, down to the security code. Alternatively, Cybercriminals often trick children into downloading free games/software containing malicious malware through which powerful social engineering attacks happen later.
- Children and teens post photos of parties of drinking and drugs on social media. Usually teens block their families from the photos and posts, and others just keep posting. All children and parents must remember that thorough social profiling is done before the marriage is settled or an employee is given to potential employees, We have seen people losing jobs many at times because of the inappropriate posts made in the past. Even if a post isn’t public, there’s always a chance it can still be found that could ruin your marriage or a family relationship.
- Digital Parenting – The best way to Protecting Children from Internet Dangers
- The use of internet will be done on a network within the home. We have to really understand ‘Is our network securely conﬁgured? The parent should have full admin rights and they shall conﬁgure their children’s device. (a) Set time limits using Screen Time agreement (Both Smartphone and Internet – Screen Time Agreements) (b) Set parental control on media, games & applications. (c) Managing your child’s requests / expectation.
- You can have daily / weekly reports on their activity, by turning ‘On’ daily / weekly reporting. Here you’ll be advised of (a) Screen Time App – If it’s an IOS Device. (b) Digital Wellbeing App – If it’s an Android Device. (c) You can also use paid Child Monitoring Apps i.e. Justify, Net Nanny, Teen Angles, Weird Safety, Activity Logger, Spector Soft, eBlaster & Spy Agent. (c) One App that is mandated for any Parent having teens / adolescents is “ReThink Words”: It provides an important opportunity for adolescents to change their minds and not post hurtful messages online.
- You can go as far as to keep an eye on their purchases, by (a) Adding money to your child’s bank account. (b) Removing options from payment accounts. (c) An overview of what they purchased. So, if your child has or tried to compromise, you can view and discuss for a proper Access and Screen Time Agreement.