Parents Guide to Children Safety Online

Introduction

The young generation of today is using the Internet more than ever, and this is due to having access from almost everywhere. Most homes schools and libraries give free access to the web, and even more and more businesses are catching the trend and giving free and easy access to the internet. For many of our children, this can be a good thing. The Internet is not just a straightforward and convenient way to do research for school work, but it is also a new world in which they can exercise their social life through networks, games and more. Even older generations are transitioning into using web-based services such as email and instant messaging. However, the problem is that, regardless of your age, we are all equally subjected to online risk and because children are still young they may not be aware enough to keep safe.

This guide will teach you to everything you need to know to keep your kids as safe as possible.

We will cover all the typical activities that children do online and what you can do to keep them safe along with the difficult topics such as pornography and bullying.

What do children and teens do online?

Because the internet itself is a virtual world, there are many activities that people can do. We have become so advanced that meeting people online and dating offline is increasingly becoming the norm. Kids, on the other hand, unlike adults aren't as subject to the vast array of activities that most adults do. The most common are researching, playing games and social networking.

Secure List has put up 14 categories that most children visit:​

  • Pornography, erotic materials
  • Illegal software
  • ​Drugs
  • ​Violence
  • Explicit Language
  • ​Weapons
  • Gambling
  • Forums and Chats
  • E-mail
  • Online Stores
  • Social Networks
  • Anonymous Proxy Servers
  • Payment Systems
  • Casual Games

According to their 2013 studies, depending on where you live children vary on how much time they spend on each category and in their internet activities.

World Wide Statistic 2013

Based on the 2013 data, porn and sexual websites (16.8%) were overtaken by social networking sites (31.3%) where now’s children spend most of their time. Out of the blue, online stores broke into the Top 3 (16.7%), far outstripping apparently traditional groups such as chats and newsgroups or e-mail.

Nevertheless, children living in different states often have different settings.

Here is an example of what is typically seen in the US.

USA Children Time Spend Online

Searching

Search engines make our lives simpler. When we want answers, search engines make sense of the madness and link us to the websites that has the answers we want.

However, sometimes when they are searching, your children may inadvertently encounter websites which are not unsuitable for his or her age.

An easy method to help prevent your kid from seeing things they shouldn't is to change the "search settings" that is on search engines.

Note: No filter is occasionally 100% precise. Therefore, ensure your child understands to come and let you know if they see a thing that disturbs them.​

Popular Search Engines 

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Adding Filters/Safe Search

Playing Games

Playing games are great and for many children gaming will be their first experience of computers and the web.

Be aware that consoles like the Wii or a Xbox connect to the internet.As they grow and develop, they may start to explore more sophisticated gaming like ‘online role-playing’ or ‘social gaming’.

Wherever they play, it is important that you are involved in your kid’s encounters from the very start.

Tips for helping your child game safely

Gaming is incredible fun, but just as with anything online, there are risks you should help your child navigate. It’s important that you’re involved in your child’s experiences, even if it feels like a different world to you.

Check the age rating of the game

Just like with movies and films, you should check the game’s age rating before anything can be played.

​Join in the fun!

Get involved! Find out for yourself what they are playing by playing beside them. You might want to ask them:​

  • Why do they like the game?
  • What’s so fun about it?
  • Who plays it at school?
  • What’s the name of their character?
  • Who can you talk to?
  • Who are their friends in the game?

This is an excellent way to staying up to date.

Know who they’re talking to

Many games, enable players talk to other players and to have an online profile. This is all part of the pleasure of gaming, but it's important to consider possible problems.​

Speak to your child about who they’re chatting and playing games. Help them understand the people they are playing with online are often real folks just like them. Some of them could be adults although most of the users are children.

Help them to understand it’s never a good idea to discuss private information including address, their name, email, phone number, home address or the name of their school with individuals they don't trust and know. Communicate with your child about how folks pretend to be someone else or will often lie online for a multitude of motives.

Talk to them about acceptable online behavior

Kids (and grownups) can be mean to each other on-line, and it’s important that you instruct your child to be pleasant to people in games like they would be on the playground.

Behavior offline that is good should be reflected online.

​Set standards for what to do in situations where others are mean to them such as how to reply to those people and to get the parents involved to sort any problems.

Social Networking

​Social networking sites are very popular on the internet, particularly among young people and children.

What are Social Networking Sites?

Members of the community create an on-line ‘profile’ which supplies varying numbers of private information to other users.The websites are an enjoyable way for the kid to remain connected with family, their friends, and peers.

What are the Dangers?

Risks include:

  • Identity Theft
  • Invasion Of Privacy
  • Your Child Seeing Offensive Images And Messages
  • Strangers Prospecting Others For 'grooming.'
  • Cyberbullying (bullying Using Digital Technology)

Staying Safe while using Social Networking Sites

Use the following guideline for keeping your children safe on social media sites:

  • Ensure your kid is cautious in what messages and pictures they take and post among trustworthy friends because once they are online, they can easily be shared broadly and removing them may be impossible.
  • Motivate them not to get into any online discussions about sex as these often bring users that are possibly dangerous.
  • If your kid needs to meet up in actual life and makes an internet buddy, you should go alongside them to assess the individual is who they say they are.
  • Let them know to be alert about online scams – such as offers which seem too good to be true
  • Motivate them to notify you if they come across anything they find disturbing or offensive
  • Make sure they don't print private information like phone number, email, their place or date of birth
  • Ensure they are aware that sharing or printing anything could mean breaking a copyright deal is not legal

What risks does my child face online?

​A video posted showing a young teen meeting a stranger who they met online shocked parents nationwide. The fact that many children are willing to disclose personal information--including their phone numbers, home addresses, and if their parents were home--was not a best -case scenario because of their parents. This video was one instance of a phenomenon we often see with Centennials, the generation featuring everyone under 18 in 2015.

Here are the three most common risk children face online.

Virus, Hacking, and Security

Viruses, malware, spyware, and other junk software makes it onto your computer for some reasons:

  • You installed something you actually shouldn't have. Frequently these contain torrents, toolbars, or screensavers which you didn't scan.
  • You didn't pay attention when installing a “reputable” program that bundles “ ” crapware that is elective.
  • You managed to get yourself infected, and the malware installs even malware.
  • You're using a quality Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware program.
  • The topic itself is too broad to understand. ________ is an indeed guide to keeping you computer safe. etc

Inappropriate Websites

​Inappropriate can mean different things, from "bad" words to pornographic pictures or videos, and what is unsuitable for the child will even change as they grow and develop.

There are a variety of things online that influence what should be a tight online encounter and might upset children. It’s significant to remember that pornographic content is included by content online that is unsuitable, but could have other content including race hate, gaming sites or pro-eating disorders.

You should discuss the kind of things they might see regardless of what age they are if your child is using the internet.

Reducing the risks

The internet is not centrally moderated, but you can set your kid’s internet access with controls in your home.Parental controls programs can permit you to block entry to adult websites, such as gambling sites and pornographic.

Contact the provider of your internet program because the majority of service providers now offer free parental control packages. Make sure you do the same on your child’s telephone and all internet enabled devices.

Proper controls are necessary but ensure that you just likewise have a continuing conversation with your child about content online although establishing. Question them to inform you if you if they see anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or distressed, so you support and can help them.

Online Pornography

Youngsters may stumble across actively search or content online for sexual content which isn't appropriate because of their age. Each and investigate, however, it can be risky. Online it is not difficult to quickly obtain a broad variety of pornographic content including extreme and hardcore pictures and videos.

‘pornography is a poor, and indeed dangerous, sex teacher’ as the researcher Martin Flood noted. Sex is seldom presented by pornography in the context of a relationship that is loving, and there's worry that early exposure to hardcore pornography could give insalubrious views about the opposite sex to young folks and what they could expect from them.

Though it may be difficult, it is vital that you talk to kids and teenagers about porn as it can supply an unrealistic depiction of sex and relationships.

Cyberbullying

Just like other-other types of bullying, cyberbullying is still bullying. The only difference is that it takes place online. Bullies can be classmates, online friends, and anonymous users.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the act of using any form of electronic communication to harass a person in a threatening and intimidating nature.

Examples of cyberbullying:

  • Tricking someone into disclosing personal or embarrassing information and sharing it without their consent
  • Sending someone mean or threatening instant messages, e-mails, or text messages
  • Breaking into someone's e-mail account to send messages that are wrong or unkind while posing as that individual
  • Excluding someone from an instant messenger list or blocking their e-mail for no reason
  • Creating sites to make fun of another person like a classmate or teacher
  • Using sites to rate peers as prettiest, most awful, etc.

There are different ways as to how to bully someone. Girls usually bully by sending messages that make fun of someone or exclude others and by spreading rumors or tell secrets while boys often bully by threatening to hurt someone or by sending messages of a sexual nature.

The Effects of Cyberbullying

Victims of face-to-face bullies suffer from effects such as a drop in school grades, change in interests, low self-esteem, or depression and victims of cyber bullies suffer the same consequences. However, these several factors display why victims of cyber bullies suffer more incredibly:

  • Cyberbullies frequently hide behind screen names and email addresses which don't identify who they're. Not understanding who is in charge of intimidating messages can add to your sufferer's insecurity.
  • Frequently children say things online that they'd say in person, mostly because they can not find the other man's reaction.
  • It might seem inescapable. It may not seem difficult to break free from a cyberbully by only becoming offline, but for some children takes away one of the principal areas they socialize.
  • It happens in the kid's residence. Being intimidated at home can take the area children feel safe away.
  • Children can send e-mails making fun of someone to their whole course or school with a couple of clicks, or post them on a website for the entire world to see.

Cyberbullying could be a complicated matter, particularly for adults who aren't as comfortable with using the Internet, instant messenger, or chat rooms as children. But like typical types of intimidation, it can be prevented parents are offered to help and when children understand the best way to shield themselves.

What Can Parents do about cyberbullying?

Parents can help prevent cyberbullying. You can begin by educating them the rules below that will contribute to avoiding cyberbullying from occurring to them and speaking to children about the problem.

What Kids Need To Know:

  • Never tell anyone, even buddies, of your passwords except parents.
  • Constantly be as you may be in person as considerate online.
  • Never open e-mails from someone you know or from someone you do not understand is a bully.
  • Do not send messages when you are mad.
  • If someone sends threatening message or a mean, do not react.
  • Never give out personal information online, especially on private sites, chat rooms, web logs, or instant message profiles.
  • Help children who are intimidated online by revealing bullying messages and not joining in.

Since most cyberbullying takes place at home, it is important they get involved with preventing it and that parents understand about cyberbullying. Similar to parents help their children avoid sites that are unsuitable, they can be protected by them.

What Kids Need To Know:

  • Create the chat accounts and emails with your kids. Make sure you understand their screen names and passwords and that they do not contain any private information in their profiles that are online.
  • Keep your home computer in an active space of your house.
  • Discuss if they've experienced it or seen bullying and cyberbulling to someone with your kids.
  • Tell your children if they're cyberbullied that they are are not to be blamed. Stress that their computer privileges won't be taken away by you - this is the primary reason children do not tell adults when they're cyberbullied.

What tools are there to help keep my child safe?

​As a carer or a parent, it can not be easy to track what your kid is up to online. Although most carers trust their children online, it is still easy for a child to stumble across things that may upset or bother them.

Parental Controls are a great way to prevent most of the bad and improper content coming into your house. They can be a tool to allow you to alter and place borders that are on-line in line with your kid’s development.

Parental Control Packages 

Every parental management/control bundle differs, but supply services such as:

  • Filtering – content to restrict access to particular sites, such as pornographic websites.
  • Time Limits – limiting the amount of time your child can be online or set periods of time where your child can access individual sites.
  • Monitoring – where you are informed of some locations that your child is attempting to gain access to.
  • Reporting - where you happen to be provided with advice on what websites your child has used coverage.

Where do I get them?

There are three primary levels for applying parental controls:

  • Internet Service Providers (ISP’s): These are the organizations that provide direct Internet to your home (like Virgin Media, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable etc). Parental control programs are provided by each of the major ISP’s. These can let you use controls across all of the devices that access the Internet through your home connection – such as gaming consoles or laptops.
  • Devices that connect to the internet: Mobile phones, computers, and games consoles now come with parental controls that can be applied. Within Windows and the Mac operating systems, for instance, there are parental controls that can be set for single apparatus.
  • Software: There are a broad range of packages available occasionally download for free – consistently seek out reputable firms and check out reviews online before purchasing.

Does this make my child safe?

Parental controls won't ever make the web 100% ‘ safe’. They must not be used as a substitute for conveying safety messages to your child. Make sure that you speak to your child about their behavior online and remember that your home is not the only place they are going to be able to access the internet!

Never ask your child to set up the settings. If you need help, call your ISP or a trusted friend or family member that is capable.

Reporting Crime

Depending on where you live, reporting a cyber crime is a good way to ensure that those responsible for such offenses are notified to the proper authorities.Here are some resources to report cyber crime:

How do I talk to my child about what they are doing online?

With technology changing on a day-to-day basis, the greatest way to stay informed is to always get involved.

Here are three great ways to help you keep up-to-date with your kids and teach them the fundamentals of remaining safe:

​Let Them Teach You

The individuals who know best about what your children are up to online are the children themselves! Get them to tell you about the websites they’re using. Ask them questions like:​

  • Why do they like the site?
  • What can they do on it?
  • What’s so fun about it?
  • Who uses it at school?
  • Who do you can talk to?
  • Who are your friends on it?

This is a great way to develop a trusting relationship with your child about what they are up to online.

Reach an Agreement

A good way to set boundaries with your child about what they can and can’t do online is to establish a deal with them.

Here's an example for kids' rules for online safety:​

RULES

  • I am going to be a good online citizen and not do something that hurts other people or is against regulations.
  • I am going to help my parents understand the best way to have fun and learn things online and teach them things about computers, the Internet, and other technology.
  • I am going to never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
  • I am going to talk to my parents so that we can create rules for going online. We are going to decide when and the amount of time I can be online.
  • I am going to tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uneasy.
  • I shall not give out private information like my address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, or the name and place of my school.
  • I am going to seek advice from my parents before installing or downloading applications or doing something that could potentially damage our computer or endanger my family’s privacy.
  • My reaction to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uneasy will be to notify my parents. If I get messages like this, it's not my fault. I'll tell my parents right away so they can contact the service provider if I do.

Be Consistent

​Research show that when kids need information that is significant, most rely on their parents.

Before your child starts using cell phones, a computers, or any gaming consoles, is the best time to talk to your child about protection, safety, and online behavior. As a parent, you've got the chance to to speak to your child before anyone else does on what's important.

Do not wait for them to begin the dialogue if your kids are comfortable approaching you. Use regular opportunities to communicate with your children about being online and news stories about cyberbullying or Internet scams can enable you to begin your anticipations and dialogue about your kids’ encounters.

Create an Honest, Open Surroundings

Children look to their parents to help direct them. No parent is perfect and has all the answers. Just be positive, encouraging and fair about that can go quite a distance.

Be Patient

Resist the urge to force dialogue and values with your children. Most children should hear advice consistently and naturally so it can be processed and applied with the least amount of resistance on their part.

Summary

Use parental controls on devices that connect to the web, like the TV, laptops, computers, gaming consoles and mobile phones.


Parental controls are not just for locking, blocking and security; they are tools to assist you to set proper limits as your child grows and develops. They are not the end-all and be-all to your own kid’s online safety, but they are an excellent start. Many service providers will work hard to make them simple, powerful and user-friendly making it relatively easy for anyone to set up. Find your service provider and learn how you can set up your controls.

Speak with your kid about what they’re up to online.


Be a part of their life that is online; call for the entire family and show an interest. If your children have a sense that you care then they are more likely to come to you with anything that bothers them online and even anything that might interest them online.

Be willing to let them explore and go online.


There is certainly an abundance of age-appropriate websites online for your kids. Support them to use sites which are fun, educational and that will enable them to acquire on-line abilities.

Keep up-to-date with your child’s development.


Kids grow up quickly and learn new skills daily. As your child learn, it is important that you do too.

Keep all devices that connect to the internet in a family space


If your child stumbles across something they should not be on or is in need of help, having online devices where the parents are more easily accessible is beneficial to your child. It will also make them more conscious of what they are doing online.

Understand how and what connects to the internet


Your child can be sneaky. Many children avoid the parental controls by accessing others internets such as a neighbor or a friend. It is important that they locate a source where you have control of the parental settings or an area where you approve such as a school or public library.

Set borders in the online world just as you would in the reality


Take into consideration what they might see, what they discuss, just how long they spend online and who they talk to. It's crucial that you consider boundaries at a young age to develop the tools and skills kids need to enjoy their time online.

Gerard Wetzel
 

After seeing my brother and his family become victims of burglary, my attention and interests have shifted toward family safety, security and peace of mind.

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