Do your kids spend time online? It’s important to know what threats they face from the internet and social media. Here are some of the most common dangers, according to the IT support team at Tekkie Help; plus, advice on how parents can limit online access and set up parental control systems for online safety.
#1 Inappropriate content
The internet is full of content that is considered inappropriate, and it’s easy for children to find websites containing potentially mind-warping and disturbing content.
Prevention: Set up parental control software to block websites you don’t want kids to browse. You can also use a child-friendly browser that automatically stops unsuitable websites.
#2 Chatroom “friends”
The internet is a perfect forum to meet new people, but some with malicious intent can use it to “befriend” your child. This contact can then turn into dangerous offline relationships.
Prevention: Education is key. Emphasise the dangers to your children and tell them to only interact with people they know personally. Change the default privacy settings of social media accounts to private so strangers can’t view their profile.
#3 Cyber bullying
Bullying happens in both the playground and the digital world. This is one of our most challenging threats.
Prevention: Try to delay your children setting up a social media profile as long as possible – the recommended age is actually 13! You can also set up parental controls, although tech-savvy older kids may know how to change these.
#4 Online scams
Children are very vulnerable to online scams, and they can also be “trigger-happy” and may click on links they shouldn’t.
Prevention: Again, education! Emphasise they should never click on a link or purchase something online without checking with you. The more they know, the better.
#5 Posting personal information
Children may not yet understand social boundaries, and may post personal information online as a result – anything from images to contact details.
Prevention: Talk to them about boundaries, and change the default settings on social media accounts to private.
The bottom line
While the internet can pose dangers to children, it can also open doors of wonder. The most effective way to raise a digitally responsible generation is through open communication and education.
If you would like assistance with setting up parental controls, Sarah and Bo from Tekkie Help can help. Just call 8113 8682 or visit tekkiehelp.com – and quote “EXPAT LIVING” for a 10 percent discount.
This article first appeared in the March 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!