Emotional trauma from online bullying is one thing, but having your location leaked online by a child can pose more dangers.
Keeping children safe online is becoming a notorious task. With average eight-year-old spending almost 5 hours a day online, the questions of “How much screen time is too much” and “How to Provide Online Safety for Children and Teens” are now becoming more important than ever. If you think about enhancing online safety for children, rest assured that there is a lot to teach children about online safety as a concerned mom.
Online safety for children is not a taboo topic and should come naturally to you. Teaching children traffic safety and riding bikes with their helmets on is a thing that is often looked upon as an integral part of parenting. Online safety for children and teens should be seen that same way. Make sure to understand where the dangers may be coming from and discuss openly, at your dinner table, how you protect yourself against online attackers. Do not insist that children should do one thing or another, but rather set an example and see how children follow it.
While at the dinner table, teach children online safety rules. They should not be scared of any online threats, but should rather understand them and learn how to protect themselves online. A good session on online Dos and Don’ts can significantly impact your children’s online safety. Learn how to keep children safe online and make sure to practice what you preach: children learn the best by observing and doing, rather than by being instructed. So, TELL them about how to protect themselves, but also SHOW them how you do it.
Children Online Safety Laws Worldwide are as different as they can get. With each country having their children online safety rules and instructions, make sure to stay informed and learn whom to call to report any suspicious activity. Remember that you are the first line of defense against online attacks, so learn about safety online and how you can keep your children safe from cyberbullying, online attacks, and potential online scammers.
As a concerned mom of a child or a teen growing up in the digital age, you should understand some basic notions of enhancing children’s online safety. Speak to local mommy-friends and pay a visit to the local school. Ask about how they keep their students safe online and whether they use any CIPA-compliant online filters. CIPA or Children’s Internet Protection Act is a comprehensive set of instructions that should guarantee that children in K-12 schools are protected from harmful online content, such as violent or pornographic content.
Emotional trauma from online bullying is one thing, but having your location leaked online by a child can pose more dangers. Teach your children while young that they should not share their location online. As you would to an adult, speak with them and tell them that your city or town, your street name, and exact location are not to be shared with online ‘friends’, just real-life people.
Limiting kids’ online time is a big taboo, and many parents fear the way their children would react. Be mindful that a limited online time may turn out to be a great thing to do: this way, your children will get to use their online time in a better and more productive way. The rest of the time can be spent doing outside activities, helping daddy mow the lawn, or helping mommy transplant those new hydrangeas. “Limiting kids online exposure should not come as a punishment, but rather as an opportunity to interact with the real world more,” says Frank Hamilton, a senior PR consultant at TrustMyPaper. “Moving children away from the screen and into the great outdoors is something that our generation forgot how to do. We are so used to being in front of a TV or a smartphone, that we tend to forget about more immersive experiences that benefit us the most.”
In the same way that you know your kids’ real-life friends, you should know their online friends as well. Introduce the topic of online friends or virtual friends while they are still young and teach them to share with you what they do online or what they talk about. Being open and understanding can take you miles away on the journey to a safe family and a secure online experience for your young ones.
You should not be shy about online experiences. Rather, let your children immerse themselves as much as they like, but beware of your children’s online safety. Get accustomed to online safety laws and regulations and practice what you preach. Your children will be thankful that they get to experience the balance between online time and online safety. On the other hand, you will get the peace of mind that every parent deserves.