How to Keep your Children Safe Online

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A lot has changed in twenty years. People who are now parents find themselves without a frame of reference for their children. They didn’t have the same childhood as kids do nowadays. The gamechanger was the internet. Every kid wants to have an online presence in one way or the other, whether it’s social media or online gaming. Twenty years ago, people wanted to become musicians or movie stars, nowadays kids dream about becoming influencers or YouTube stars. Times are changing, and so are the rules parents have to give their kids to protect them from harm. It is not an easy subject matter, but it is something parents everywhere need to understand as soon as they can. Here are six tips to keep your children away from harm.

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1. Understand you can’t keep your kids away from the internet.

Right now, everything is related to the internet in one way or the other. Most kids talk to each other after school through social media. Your children do not hang out after school as much as they play the same games online. Small smartphone games have a multiplayer mode. Even your TV has an internet connection now! It is a futile effort to try to keep your kids away from the internet unless you shut down the electricity. It is also completely wrong to do so. The internet has its dangers, of course, but it is also an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to learn a plethora of things. Kids can also develop potentially great job skills that might help them in the future. And you probably know, telling a young kid not to do something will only make them want to do it more. The best course of action here is to let them use the internet, under parental control, where you can see what’s going on.

2. Explain the possible dangers as best as you can.

Most kids only see the fun on internet related activities. They do not see or care about the possible harm and dangers the internet has. And it’s understandable. Young children are innocent and have little to no experience with the bad things that can happen in the world. But there comes a time in every parent’s life where they have to explain to their kids what to look out for. Even if it means bursting the innocence bubble a little bit, they should know there are dangerous people online looking to take advantage of children just like them. Avoid gruesome details, but explain in all seriousness the internet isn’t as safe as it should be. Let them know they shouldn’t talk to anyone who they do not know in real life, what sites they should visit and what sites they should avoid, and the consequences of wrongful use of the internet.

3. Lay agreed-upon ground rules for everyone.

Once your children have understood the possible dangers of the internet and social media, it’s time to lay ground rules. If you have done the work right explaining how harmful a click on a wrong website may be or how dangerous talking to a complete stranger can get, your kids will understand rules are necessary – even if they don’t want them.

The trick here is to make the rules easy to remember and even easier to follow. If you make them overly strict you are asking your children to break the rules. You should also explain the reasoning behind every single rule and avoid making them seem arbitrary or unfair. If they know why the rule exists, what they are being shielded from, kids are less likely to turn their backs on the rules.

4. Let them choose, but you pick the options.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit, YouTube and many, many more are all well-known and available sites for your kids to visit. And those are only the websites. There are hundreds upon hundreds of videogames that have incorporated multiplayer mode that put your kids in contact with everyone who’s playing online. You can’t make them all against the rules, but you can let your kids have the illusion of choice. Use most of those sites and check most of the videogames your kids want to play, rule out the more dangerous or harmful ones and let them choose a few amongst the options you have picked. It’s best if you do this activity with other parents, so everyone in your children’s social circle is using the same apps and every parent can help each other keep an eye out.

5. Try to get to know who they are in contact with.

Even if you have the right rules and your kids chose the safest apps and games, you can’t be sure strangers aren’t creeping around trying to take advantage of your kid. Lucky for most parents, the internet can be used as a powerful tool against these people. You should routinely check who your children are talking to and see if there are any unknown strangers in their contact list. If there is, you can see who they truly are using nuwber.com. Nuwber is an easy to use website where you only have to write down the information you have on someone (Their name, phone number, etc.) and the website will tell you everything you want to know about them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Whatsapp number, a name on Facebook, etc. Nuwber can help you unmask those strangers trying to take advantage of your children.

6. Consider using prevention software.

It might not be the best option, but if your kids can’t seem to follow the rules or they can’t properly understand the harmful nature of the internet just yet, you might have to use built-in features and third-party software to prevent your kids from doing the wrong thing. Most websites and videogames have built-in parental control to avoid any problems with young children. You should also think about buying parental control software to avoid your kids going on unwanted websites, downloading malware or watching the wrong videos. Your children might think it’s over the line, but you must protect them.

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Summary
Title
How to Keep your Children Safe Online
Description
A lot has changed in twenty years. People who are now parents find themselves without a frame of reference for their children.

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