As kids, we didn’t have the Internet. The Internet was a brand new concept, something that we slowly transitioned into. But kids today? They’re growing up with the Internet. It’s there from the day they’re born and because of this, it is difficult to always know how to protect and keep your child safe online . After all, they might not know the various dangers that lurk online or how to protect themselves. And these dangers are increasing. Cybercriminals know that many kids have unlimited access to the Internet, so kids often become prime targets. Let’s go over a few risks affecting children and what can be done to protect them.
3 Major Risks our Children Face Online
Bullying hurts thousands of kids per year and can have severe, negative consequences, ranging from social isolation to mental health issues that can spawn later in life. And cyberbullying is no different, except that it’s even harder to avoid.
Cyberbullying takes many forms, from snarky, passive-aggressive social media comments to floods of personal messages containing rude, insensitive content. And unlike real-life bullying, cyberbullying can follow someone anywhere.
It’s important that kids are protected from any sort of bullying since bullying can impact kids’ development and mental health for years to come.
2. Online Predators
On the Internet, no one knows who you are. You’re anonymous. The only way people will know who you are is if you tell them outright. And while this sounds great in theory, practice shows that criminals and online predators exploit the anonymity to approach children.
The term “online predators” refers to adults who seek out children online. They lurk on social media sites and chat rooms, aiming to seduce their targets through attention and flattery. Some predators would impersonate other youths to earn the trust of victims.
As children drop their guard, online predators would introduce sexual content and lure them into cooperating. This is a severe issue in the country, especially during the lockdown where children can get bored and curious.
3. Scammers and Fraudsters
Predators aren’t the only people targeting children online. Many scammers view children as malleable, susceptible to tricks and scams. As a result, many kids find themselves victims of scammers.
These scams range from phishing scams (scams that trick users into giving away information) to scams involving in-game currencies. Currency scams trick kids into entering payment information for “free video game currencies”. The kid ends up with nothing, and the scammer gets a free credit card.
Ways To Keep Your Child Safe Online
Fortunately, despite the threats facing children, it’s possible to protect your children and guarantee them a safe online experience. Here are just a few ways to keep your child safe online.
Teach Your Children about Proper Internet Safety
The first thing you should is to sit your children down and talk to them about proper online safety. Kids are kids—they don’t possess an inherent knowledge about what’s safe and what’s not.
Telling your kids about the importance of strong passwords or sharing with them the dangers of the Internet and what could happen to them is vital to them staying safe while online. This isn’t the only thing you should do, but it’s a great first step.
Install a VPN on Their Device
While there are other security tools you should have your children use, such as anti-virus software and password managers, a VPN is a one-click solution for children to protect their device.
VPNs, short for Virtual Private Network, encrypt your online traffic and replace your IP address with that of a VPN server location. This prevents people from tracking your children down with information on their physical location.
Take Advantage of Parental Controls
Most devices nowadays come with parental controls, settings that allow parents to limit what their kid can access, how long they can access apps and services, and prevent in-app purchases.
Parental controls are easy to set up and are difficult to crack, so enabling these controls is a must if your children spend a lot of their time on their devices.
Monitor Your Kid’s Online Activity
It’s important you give your children space online. Looking over their shoulders 24/7 can become problematic and give them the feeling you don’t trust them. That said, you should monitor your kid’s online activity from time to time.
Every once in a while, take a look at what your children have been searching for, downloading, viewing, etc. Also, do this if you are suspicious that they’re doing something wrong or negligent.
Again, don’t do this 24/7, but do it on occasion so that you know what your kids are up to.
Veto What Your Children Download
Lastly, you need to set yourself up as an authority on what your kids view and download. Again, giving them a sense of freedom is important, but don’t let them stray too far.
Have them ask for your permission before they download something. Before they visit a website, take a glance at it and decide whether or not it’s suitable for children. You are the adult, you are the authority, and it’s up to you to decide what your kids are allowed to access and what’s safe for them.
How parental control apps help you to protect your kids online?
Being a part of a digitally advanced world, we must ensure the digital safety of our children. The use of technologies brings risks and vulnerabilities to children and young adults. They come to see the content they shouldn’t be seeing at their minor age. The parental control app allows parents to monitor and limit what their child can access. It is set up to keep an eye on kid’s activities on their phone without being invasive. The use of parental control settings in devices restricts children from watching age-inappropriate contents.
Parental control apps are a modern way of protecting our children from modern technology vulnerabilities. It helps you to set the screen time limit of electronic devices. They become the victims of cyberbullying and often technology causes mental and physical complications in children. To keep such dangers away from our children, parental control apps are proven a boon for parents.
Here you have the two top most popular and widely used parental control applications.
fenced.ai is a trusted and one of the best parental control apps available online. This helps in the remote monitoring of your child’s digital devices. The free version of fenced.ai provides you limited features while the paid version provides you a whole another level of feature set. It helps you to monitor all kinds of activities one does on their Android and iOS devices.
With easy-to-use fenced.ai, you can monitor your kid’s incoming and outgoing calls and messages. You can also locate his current location along with the past history of his locations. fenced.ai’s major use is to keep tabs on a child’s online phone activities. Because of its features, you can access your kid’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Viber, Whatsapp, Snapchat. You can remotely monitor the message and media file your kid exchange. It helps you to identify the problems that your children can face online and keep them at bay.
Bark.us is another parental control software that helps you to keep your children safe online. You can monitor your kid’s online activities on his phone without interference. Although its main feature of Alert Systems is criticized for sending out unnecessary and unwanted alerts, it has been a great support for parents. Parents can set up a restricted list of areas, sites, keywords. Whenever their kid tries to do something that is on the restricted list, it sends out an alert message to parents about potential problems.
Bark.us has an easy interface that allows parents to monitor 30+ different social networking sites. This monitoring software will help you monitor your kid’s activities and know when your kids are in trouble. You get access to all the message conversation and content they share with their peers. Thus, it helps you keep the dangers and online bullies away from your children. And, you can develop a healthy and safe online environment for your kids.