People are adopting modern technological advancements happening all around the world along with the easy availability of the internet at affordable prices. Internet safety for kids has been a topic of debate for a while now. Children born and brought up in this technological world learn about these technologies and computers as they learn to talk, walk or eat. Children find it fascinating to play games online as they grow up and start to explore the internet world apart from offline games. The easy access to the internet and curiosity among the kids make it difficult for the parents to keep track of their internet usage and the content they are watching online.
As the kids reach teenage, they have gained so much knowledge about the technology that they help out the elders to use their computers and mobile phones.
Though this might be a proud moment for the parents that their kids are aware of the latest technologies, it might be a point of concern if their child is in a safe space on the internet.
Here are a few threats that can prove to be problematic when the kids use the internet without safety measures:
Online Threats on Kids:
1. Online Bullying
The culture of bullying has taken an online route, where the bully is hidden behind the screen with a fake name.
- Children are caught bullying online to their peers or get bullied by their peers.
- Online abuse is a major point of concern because of which the child might feel depressed or even suicidal.
- It is important to have a watch on what the kid is posting online about their online friends.
- Cyberbullying involves posting pictures or pieces of content online which may cause humiliation to other people.
2. Information leakage
Children that may use the same computer as you can log in into your accounts to sign up for playing games or accessing any websites.
- The cyber-thieves target the children rather than the parents to get important information about their accounts, passwords, or any other information which will help them for cyber-theft.
- Hence it is important to monitor the sites and online platforms that are used by children.
- Several chat rooms will talk with the kids and manipulate them to give them sensitive information that often harms the family.
3. Phishing Attacks
The phishing attack is on the constant rise on the internet. We often receive emails and stating “You have won a prize, click here” or “click on this link to win the car”.
- Children being innocent and unaware of the intentions of these attackers tend to click on these links and fall in their trap, revealing the important information.
- These attackers are now targeting the websites which receive children’s crowd. Hence it is important to teach them to not click on these suspicious links and SMS.
4. Offensive and Vulgar content
Children are generally exposed to pornographic sites through ads and links that catch their attention.
- The pornographic sites have a crowd that is among the age group of 12 to 17 years that visit these sites regularly through these links and ads.
- Children get addicted to these websites at an early age and these addictions have negative effects on their mental health.
- Children also receive abusive messages and offensive comments online in chat rooms.
Children especially teenagers love to share their pictures and videos online. These contents may include private information like a home address or even their intimate pictures.
- Hackers may hack their accounts and get access to these pictures which may be used to blackmail your child.
- Hence it is important to monitor what the children are posting online and about the safety measures of these social media accounts.
Online Safety Measures for Kids
1. Set-up Parental Control on the browser
- Putting parental control over websites, online platforms, gaming sites, or on mobile phones would restrict access of your child to children-friendly websites.
- This will allow your child to use only those websites which are safe to use and won’t grant access to adult websites or any other harmful content online.
You can use VPN mentioned below to use this feature automatically without need to set it up yourself.
2. Keep an eye on their online activities
Parents should keep an eye on what the child is posting online and what websites or chat rooms are they accessing.
Online shopping is taking a big leap and hence parents should notice all the purchases being made online.
3. Ask them to use strong passwords
Kids often use medium or weak passwords which are either their birth dates or name/number combinations which are easy for them to remember. These passwords are easy to guess by hackers. Hence the parents need to make the kids aware of the importance of strong passwords and not using the same passwords for all the accounts. Children also must not share their password with anyone online.
Install a secure password manager for them to save their password to remember it later.
4. Install Antivirus
When introducing an Antivirus program in your PC, make sure to set it up such that it examines the hard-drive whenever new data is added.
- Kids have the curiosity to explore the web by themselves and end up downloading viruses into their computer/smartphones.
- Certain website installs plugins into your browser without notice which can track and record your activity online and leak sensitive information.
- Secure Antivirus set up will guarantee that each downloaded record gets checked for any indications of potential dangers.
5. Use a VPN for their devices
Kid Safe VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a major advancement toward bringing security, clearness and transparency to protect your kids from online threats:
- The online world is progressively advancing becoming dangers for the kids and so are the software available to protect them. VPN is the latest advancement in the field of internet security.
- VPN hides your kid from the hackers and online trackers who may try to gain access to your child’s computer/smartphone.
- For guardians and parents’ VPN sets up parental control automatically for you so that the content access stays in your hands.
VPN growth has seen a huge rise in recent years and not more than 25% modern users are using VPN for their advantage. While anti-virus protects your computer from virus offline, VPN ensures an encrypted connection online so even if a hacker gains access to your information he would not be able to understand it. VPN creates a safe environment for kids online where they can be safe and at a much lower risk.
Online safety is a big point of concern in current times. Hence it is necessary to take measures that will minimize the threat to you and your kids. Ensure your devices have Antivirus and VPN installed to protect your sensitive information offline (Antivirus) and online (VPN).
To help you fight cybercrime and protect your kids we have reviewed and compared VPNs on our website here.