Health + Wellness

5 Parenting Tips to help facilitate online safety for children

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Intel Security shares some parenting tips for facilitating online safety for children

In the recent “2015 Teens and the Screen” Survey, Intel Security shared some key findings including a perceived ‘trust-deficit’ between parents and children and that children were engaging in risky online behaviour. Some of these risks included sharing of personal information, as well as using fake profiles or evasive tactics to hide their online activities.

We have compiled some tips for parents to use and share with their children, when having a conversation about online safety. This can be useful when nearly 64 percent of children indicated they learnt about online safety from their parents.

Connect With Your Kids. Engage them frequently about online risks, and make sure the communication lines are open. Foster discussions around relevant news stories or cases at schools.

The survey shares that the most common topics of discussion revolve around: cyberbullying (71 percent), cyber criminals and identity theft (70 percent), privacy settings (68 percent) and online reputation (45 percent).

Set Password Rules. To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice. Explain to your child the consequence of this practice – and in private – so that they can understand why their passwords need to remain private.

Parents take note, almost half of the children aged 8 – 16 (49 percent) use anonymous names or aliases for their social media profiles. Their main motivation for doing so is to hide their identity from friends and classmates when posting (51 percent) content online. More than 1 in 3 use fake profiles to hide inappropriate content from parents and school staff (37 percent).

Use App Reviews. By reading app flags, age restrictions (ranks include: everyone, low maturity, medium maturity, or high maturity) and customer reviews on an app, you will be able to discern if an app is going to be suitable for your child or not.

Gain Access. Parents should have passwords to their children’s social media accounts and passcodes to their children’s devices to have full access.

However, make sure they understand the rationale behind why this step is important. Some of the common activities parents are interested in included:

  • Interacting with strangers (23 percent)
  • Sharing personal information like home address or phone number (21 percent)
  • Unknowingly interact with predators (19 percent)
  • Posting intimate photos (10 percent)
  • Being cyberbullied (10 percent)
  • Cyber-bullying other kids (7 percent)
  • Online gambling (6 percent)

Up Your Tech Knowledge. Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use. Stay knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks. While you don’t have to create an account, it is important to understand how they work and if your kids are on them.

According to the survey, these were the social media networks parents thought their children are on: Facebook (88 percent), WhatsApp (73 percent), YouTube (54 percent), Instagram (47 percent), Twitter (33 percent), and Skype (21 percent).

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