Beyond doubt, internet is making our kids sharper and smarter- as kids and teens using the internet have stronger social skills, better vocabularies, and greater confidence.
Despite of its usefulness, like every other thing, internet also has a darker side to it. And this darker side can have a negative effect on your child. As children aren’t that mature enough to understand the flip side of the World Wide Web, it is the responsibility of parents to get them out of this oblivion.
The lack of digital literacy and online safety measures can make children exposed to the risk of cybercrimes, abuse and exploitation. As cybercrimes against children are spreading across India, it is time we understand and spread the message about keeping our children safe online.
Discuss online safety
As children are still immature to fully understand the consequences of revealing personal information online, a parent should teach step in to teach them about online safety and privacy. Here are a few online safety measures that you need to teach your child-
- Not to share their name, address, phone number, email address, school, picture or any private information without your permission
- Not to open emails from unknown senders
- Not to respond to hurtful or disturbing messages
- And never go to meet in person with anyone they meet online
Use parental control
Home broadband and other internet-enabled devices have parental control to restrict the content that is being viewed, downloaded or purchased. If you do not know how to apply parental control get in touch with your internet provider for help. Remember to put control on mobile phones, laptops, home computers, gaming consoles and TV.
Monitor internet usage
When your child is using internet devices, be by his/her side to know what information your child is accessing. This allows your child to browse online but in the knowledge of their parents.
Set certain limits
Everything is good within limits- especially the Internet. This doesn’t mean that you need to limit the time your children spend on the web. Rather, you should try to communicate to your children about the websites they can and cannot visit.
Cyber bullying cases have been on the rise, so to ensure your child’s safety it is important to supervise their online activity. Spot any changes in their behavior, like sudden nervousness or anger or depression after being online. We need to protect our children and their fragile minds from anything that’s not right for them.