Did you know that one in five children who use the internet have been sexually solicited? And, one in four have been exposed to unwanted pornography. That is a staggeringly scary situation, and it is only getting worse now, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to lockdowns, kids are using more and more of the internet for studies, projects, and recreational activities. This leaves them and their devices vulnerable to malware, Zoombombing, and inappropriate content and comments.
As a parent, you must ramp up your safety measures to ensure that your kid is safe from online threats when surfing on the internet. Here’s how to do that.
Apply Parental Controls
The first step you must do is apply parental control on your kid’s devices. Such applications and software limit your child from entering or interacting with apps, websites, or content that is not appropriate for their age. There are many free parental control apps available that you can install on your computers, and you can use ScreenTime and Digital Wellbeing apps for the same on Apple and Android devices, respectively.
Use Traditional Firewalls and Antivirus Tools
Whether you use Windows, Apple, or Android, all devices nowadays come preinstalled with firewalls and safety features that are enough to protect your kid’s devices from online malware. Yet, they are not enough to provide all-round security for them. You need to install a good antivirus tool on their devices to protect them from further online attacks and hacks. Such tools offer access control, antivirus protection, email screening, firewall protection, antimalware and antispyware protection, and intrusion or keylogger detectors. Most reputable antivirus brands are more than enough to ensure your kid stays away from harmful viruses and malware on the internet.
Keep the Devices Up to Date
You may give your child the most secure phones and apps, but if they are not updated on time, they may be pointless. Why? Because new viruses and malware are always being launched by hackers on the internet. To tackle them, developers regularly release updated versions of the software to offer the best protection. If you don’t update your child’s devices, the safety tools may fail to provide the utmost protection from online threats. You should also clear out their browser cache at least once a month.
Educate Your Kids About Cybersecurity and Online Threats
Your child is also responsible for their own security while surfing on the net, and you need to educate them about that. All you have to do is tell them the risks associated with surfing on the internet and some basic yet necessary measures they need to take to protect themselves. Here are some of the things you can ask your kid to practice while surfing on the internet:
- Ask them not to disclose any private information about themselves or your family.
- Ask them not to open any suspicious websites or emails or download any unknown software.
- Ask them not to talk to strangers who approach them on social media.
- Ask them not to publish any pictures on social media without your approval.
Yes, it sounds like you are being a helicopter parent, but you must take all the measures necessary to ensure your kid’s safety online. If you have any more questions on making the internet safe for your child, contact Alberta Communications.