How to keep you child safe in the Internet - Daily Kenya

How to keep you child safe in the Internet

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Parents always want to protect their children online. The online environment can present a dangerous

atmosphere which can result in more harm to the young ones. Children can be exposed to different

behaviors, to dangerous people who may take advantage of them. What can parents do children from

harm online?

The internet is here to stay and statistics have shown an increase in 83% of young people going online

more than four times a day which is an increase from the previous records. The following suggestions

can help guardians and parents protect them. Now is the right time to introduce these cyber safety

know how to your parenting toolkit.


1. Talk openly with your child about their online activities.


Once your child starts accessing the internet, talk to them about what they read, watch, and who they

communicate with online, and keep the conversation going as they grow. Ask your child what website they

visit or what apps they use write a list and look at it together.

Talk to your child about what you think is appropriate and remind them that other parents and their children

may be different. Listen to your child and agree on what is right for your family.  Keep in mind that at some

point they will be accessing the internet outside of home security and you want them to be prepared

for that.

It is also important to educate them about their online reputation and how to be careful about their conduct,

interactions with people, and self-expression in such a public forum. You should always remember that

the Internet is not private.


2. Keep screens and devices in open spaces

Always monitor your child's time online, especially younger children. Place the computer in a central location

in the house where you can easily monitor what your child is doing and watching online. For mobile devices,

you can set them to forget WiFi passwords. So your kids can't connect without you knowing. You can also

try to agree that there are no tablets, laptops, or games in the rooms. For younger children, you can also

check the browsing history after your child was online to see which websites they visit. Obviously, this

approach becomes more difficult as children get older and figure out how to clear histories, which is all

the more reason to open the lines of communication about internet use at an early age.



3.Utilize parental controls

Innocent online searches can lead to not-so-innocent results, so it's advisable to know how to use the

parental controls/search restrictions offered by web browsers, ISPs, and devices. For example, Google's

SafeSearch filtering feature blocks websites with sexually explicit material. .To enable it, go to

Settings/SafeSearch Filter. While not 100% accurate, parental controls can help prevent your child from

viewing and accessing the most violent or sexual content.

4.  Get to know your children's friends

As adults, we know that some people on the internet aren't who they say they are, but kids and teens can

be shockingly naïve about knowing who they're chatting with if they're not taught  cyber  from an early age

to be. Become friends and contacts in your child's social media circles and be sure to monitor the posts.

Your children may resist, but tell them that this is one of the conditions for allowing them access.

5. Always be alert to protect your privacy

If your child uses social media regularly, you should be aware of the risk of personal information or pictures

becoming public once they are made public. While they don't fully understand the consequences of

disclosing personal information online, you need to teach them to be careful and considerate about what

they post and share. Encourage your children to ask themselves before posting if the information

(e.g. name, phone number,  address, email, school name) or photo is something they would give to a

stranger. If the answer is no, don't post it. If your child shares photos or posts online, ask them to let you

see what they're sharing, or ask an older sibling to review the photos before sharing.

6. Keep control of your family’s digital footprint

Every image and personal detail posted and shared on social media and the web contributes to a person's

digital footprint. The big risk is that information, once shared publicly,  can be used in ways you don't expect

and can't control. You should also assume that anything posted online is permanent (sometimes it can be

deleted, but not always before it is seen and saved by others). The same applies to parents who regularly

post photos of their children online. Teach your child to take control of their digital footprint and only share it

with people they know and trust. Instead of posting for all your friends on social media, encourage them to

be selective and use the privacy controls on the social media platforms they use.

7. Teach your children to keep their location private

Most apps, networks, and devices have geotagging capabilities that can make your location public and 

lead someone directly to you. These features should be disabled for obvious privacy and security reasons.

Digital photos also contain metadata (information about  time, date and GPS coordinates). ) which can

reveal more than you want. Some social media platforms automatically hide or delete this data, but not all,

so do your homework and know how much information you're sharing.

8. Keep track of online time

It is recommended that children between the ages of five and 17 spend no more than two hours of screen

time per day. Therefore, it is important to monitor your child's time online, especially in younger children,

to ensure they are not developing bad habits. the children agree on a time period, say 30 minutes per

session, and set a timer for it to start; Don't forget to make this a non-negotiable completion time.

You should also turn off the Wi-Fi in the house at a certain time each night (ideally before bed) so 

everyone gets an internet break. You can also try hosting some "screen-free" days in your home to

encourage everyone to find other, more active, and/or less technical ways to entertain themselves.

9. Be #SocialNetworkSavvy

Learn how to stay safe on social media so you can give your kids the best advice. Sign in to the social

networks and apps your kids use and learn how to use their privacy controls and reporting mechanisms.

Discuss how they can stay safe on social media, including talking to someone they trust when they're

concerned and what constitutes online bullying, both as a bully and a victim.

If your child uses social media, make sure they  know how:

  • Report inappropriate and/or offensive posts
  • Block someone.
  • keep information private.

10. Lead by example

Lead by example and always model the kind of positive behavior online that you want to show your children.

If they see you being cautious and serious when you're online, they'll be more likely to follow your lead.

And yes, that includes limiting your  screen time

Ultimately, you don't want to scare your child or prevent them from experiencing the many educational,

entertainment, social, and other benefits of the Internet, you want to give them the skills and knowledge 

they need. how to make the most of it and avoid the dangers.

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