How to keep your child safe online

In a world where we cyber-attacks, cyber bullying and criminals lurk in every ‘corner’, it’s vital to protect your child when they are online. Angelique Ruzicka peruses information from global cyber-security company Kaspersky and other reputable sources to find out what you can do to ensure your children’s safety.

The last thing you want to be is a parent that smothers your child. But once children hop onto your computer or smart phone to access the internet they can be open to a number of different dangers. It’s important to be vigilant and protect your children from these potential dangers. Here are eight tips that you can adopt now to do just that:

  1. Consider using child friendly websites. If you’re not familiar with any consider using website catalogues such as bestkidswebsites.com and kidsites.com to help you find websites your children would love. Kaspersky, however, warns: ‘don’t forget that any websites, including those for kids can get infected or hacked’.
  2. Last year Pokemon Go was all the rage and had adults as well as children engaged in the game and catching Pokemon in their suburbs and elsewhere. There are bound to be more such games introduced. Kaspersky advises users to be aware of their surroundings when engaging in such games, avoiding dangerous areas. Your child could also get lost using such games. Kaspersky has developed Safe Kids which can track your child’s whereabouts while playing games like Pokemon Go.
  3. It’s natural for children to keep secrets from parents. However, 4% of children don’t tell their parents they are being cyberbullied. Establish a trusting relationship with your child and have frank conversations about dangers that await them online.
  4. Make sure your computer and other devices that allow you to surf online are protected. Your children or even you may accidently visit a phising page which will use deceptive techniques to make you (or your child) submit your user credentials.
  5. Protect your information. Never readily give away your personal information such as your telephone number, address and ID number.
  6. Be careful what you post online and make sure your social media accounts are protected. One detective has likened sharing pictures online to putting a child’s Polaroid up on a lamp post. Make sure pictures that are posted are appropriate.
  7. Ensure you teach your child about stranger danger. Tell them not to make friends with people online that they don’t know.
  8. Consider using parental control technologies. They can help you to set and enforce your rules and limit access to sites you have concerns about.