These days it is a common thing for kids to use the internet. However, the way they use the internet is the matter of concern. In 2013, a major percentage of kids were using the internet at home. However, this percentage increased drastically within a couple of years.
Today, 1 out of 5 kids aged 8 to 11 and 7 out of 10 children aged 12 to 15 own a social media profile. Moreover, it is clear that every teenager has a thriving social media life. When you look at it, the digital saturation of things isn’t too gruesome to look at.
The kids who are connected to the internet are still learning a skill; you can call them skilled in a cultural language and hope they will be using it for their communication and career in later years. Kids will come across technology in their classroom, but it has not yet been proven that in-school computer usage can increase test scores.
Technology is here to stay, and therefore it is up to parents and guardians to decide how to guide their children through these hazardous waters. There are some things parents should discuss with their kids, and these need to be followed without fail if children are to be safe online.
There should be no exposure of personal information. Personal information needs to stay private at all times. This includes things like phone numbers, age, name, residential address. It has also been suggested that before becoming online ‘friends’ with someone, people need to research this person and find out more about his or her background.
One should always look for mutual friends when connecting to new people over social media. Whereabouts shouldn’t be shared too easily either. It is known that children and especially teens love to share their photos on social media.
With sites like Instagram and Snapchat booming along, there are a lot of scandals that can and do arise. This includes the major problem of ‘sexting’ where nude photos of teenagers can circulate the internet. Kids and teenagers need to remember that whatever they share online stays online. Once you share nude selfies, it is going to stay forever.
Kids should exercise basic forms of security when using screen-names and passwords. They need to use a different moniker which is not related to their names or acquaintances at all. Emails and websites shouldn’t be shared with anyone online.
Bill Horne, The Telecom Digest Moderator, suggests that people should turn on encryption on their Wi-Fi to increase their security.
Most parents are concerned about the screen time their kids are getting. Perhaps instead of being too focused on that, parents should try to steer their kids towards other things like playing creative games such as Minecraft, and preventing them from watching endless and sometimes questionable videos on YouTube.
The top concern of parents should be that their child might experience cyber-bullying. You must always keep a tab on what sites are being visited by your child and how these can affect your kids. It is necessary to know who they are talking to. Always screen your kids’ friends to avoid them interacting with paedophiles.
Parents should set a difficult password so that their kids can’t access it all the time. Passwords are important for kids as they should not have any financial information. Moreover, passwords protect privacy when the digital security has been compromised.
Older kids often share their passwords online, and it only takes a few more steps to figure out certain personal information about themselves as well as their family.
Online safety is a very important topic to be discussed among all parents for their kids’ safety. People can get connected to the internet in many different ways.