The spread of the COVID-19 virus has undoubtedly altered many people’s lifestyles. Students are one of the groups affected by this change. Because they’re staying indoors all the time, there might not be many things for them to do. This is why you shouldn’t be surprised to find them spending much of their time online. However, as long as you’re aware of online safety tips for children, you can ensure that your child would be able to safely navigate the world of the internet.
Continue reading to learn more about these different tips to ensure your child’s safety when browsing online.
As a parent, one of your responsibilities is helping your child gain a sense of privacy or agency in your home. Though it may seem as if setting website visiting boundaries does not take their privacy into consideration, this is a good starting point in protecting your child against harmful content.
For example, in their search for child-friendly online videos or flash games, your child may unknowingly come across harmful content. Some of these websites that show self-harm, substance abuse, racism, sexism, or xenophobia. To prevent your child from visiting these websites, make sure you are aware of and are supervising your child’s internet activity.
By limiting the websites your child is visiting, you’re helping them avoid potentially harmful information that can damage their emotional, mental, or even physical health. This is also a good way for you to prevent your children from being cyberbullied.
Another online safety tip you can practice with your child is reminding them of stranger danger. This refers to the dangerous situation of strangers taking advantage of innocent and underage victims for their own gain. Some parents make the mistake of thinking that their child will never fall victim to this, reasoning that their child is smart and internet savvy. But the truth is that these predators always present themselves as seemingly safe and innocent online “friends.”
There are many different ways for you to warn your child about strangers. For example, always tell them that they should not be giving out personal information such as their age, school name, phone number, and address especially in non-secure websites. If you notice that your child behaving strangely in front of their phone or computer, then this might be an indication someone online is making them behave in this manner.
Another way of reminding your child to stay away from strangers is by telling them not to accept friend requests, messages, or emails from people they do not know personally.
Last but not the least, communicating with your child is another effective way of preventing undesirable outcomes resulting from their online activity. In order for you to do this, you have to create a safe space where they feel like they can safely approach or go to you whenever they have concerns. Drastic measures like totally removing their internet privileges or smartphone use may only lead to further widening the gap between you and your child.
Simply asking them about how their day went may make your children feel more comfortable about opening up about many things in their life. You should also be able to check up every now and again on how your child is doing, especially now that they’re devoting much of their free time on internet use.
Keeping your child safe online doesn’t necessarily have to involve complex measures. In fact, these online safety tips for children are as simple as communicating with them or giving them constant reminders about the potential dangers of unmitigated internet use.
The simple guide above has hopefully offered you with a starting point on more effectively optimizing the way your child surfs through the web, especially during this time of a health crisis.