Are you looking for ways how to explain internet safety to a child? This comprehensive guide has tips to help you.
The internet is where people find important information, videos, and images – it has almost everything you want.
However, when it comes to a child’s online activities, you must ensure they’re protected against inappropriate content, contact with undesirable people, malicious attacks or software, etc.
Teaching online safety tips to a child will help keep them safe. Here is how to explain internet safety to a child.
How To Explain Internet Safety To A Child
Children are increasingly exposed to the dangers of online technology and digital media. As a parent, you are responsible for imparting the necessary skills and knowledge to help them stay safe. How can you do this?
1. Have a Great Understanding of Internet Safety
Before you teach your kid about internet safety, you need to have comprehensive knowledge about the internet.
You should know how the internet works, its dangers, and how to stay safe. Search for the reputable Internet sources to expand your knowledge.
2. Start the Conversation Early
If your kid is about to use a tablet or computer, now is the right time to talk to them about internet safety, as said in this children privacy guide.
This conversation will surely prepare the child against internet threats they don’t fully understand. Still, it isn’t too late if your child is already using the internet.
It will take time to teach your child great internet safety habits. This is because some things are quite technical and hard for them to comprehend.
Therefore, you’ll need to have regular conversations with your kid to help them understand online safety well.
3. Establish Rules
Rules are great since they’ll help regulate how a child uses the internet. But it’s good to involve them in the decision-making process. This will build trust between you and the child and ensure the rules you’ve set are achievable.
You also need to be flexible when establishing these rules. Because as the child grows, how they use the internet also changes. Therefore, you must be flexible and adjust to ensure the rules are always relevant.
4. Use Analogies
Cybersecurity concepts, such as password sharing, viruses, etc., might be difficult for a child to comprehend. To help them understand these concepts, you need to compare them to something they can relate to.
Tell a child that sharing your password with a stranger is like giving away the key to a safe. You can come up with various interesting analogies to help your kid understand the internet and stay safe.
5. Demonstrate, Don’t Just Tell
It’s easier for children to learn from what they see than hear. Therefore, you should use examples and demonstrations to help them understand internet safety.
You can explore your child’s favorite website with them and show them how to create a good password. Alternatively, you can teach the child about internet safety in a fun way by using online games, etc.
6. Be a Role Model
This is still under the notion children learn more from what they see. As a parent/ adult, you must understand that your kid will most likely imitate you. It’s best to show your child that you can follow the rules you set.
For example, if you’ve set meal times as off-limit hours to use the internet, you should also follow this rule. This encourages the child to abide by the rules.
What Your Child Needs to Know About Internet Safety?
There are various things that you need to educate your child about internet safety. However, these are the most essential.
Avoid Talking to Strangers
Children come across strangers on social media or when playing online games. Online chat rooms, comment threads, and private messages also have cybercriminals.
They can trick your child into giving sensitive and personal details. Cybercriminals can then use the information to steal identity, money, or worse.
Children usually fall prey to these phishing scams because they are vulnerable. Tell your child to be cautious and not give out any information to someone they don’t know. This includes anything from login information, home address, age, etc.
Report and Block Online Bullies
According to VeryWellFamily, Online bullies are everywhere on social media and gaming sites and are a big issue. Online bullies log on to the internet to taunt and harass others.
It’s quite hard to control cyberbullies. In online games, moderators usually ban them. However, getting all of them can be challenging with so many players.
Controlling online bullies on social media is equally hard since each platform has different guidelines regarding cyberbullying.
Tell your child to inform you about anyone’s actions that make them feel uncomfortable. The child can also document the harassment and report it to relevant authorities. Lastly, the child should block the bullies to avoid more abuse.
Some Websites, Downloads, and Links, Can Be Unsafe
Today cyber criminals use links to get into computers. They hide these harmful links in games, music, and software, which most children usually search online.
You need to educate your child about the risks of downloads and links. Inform them that they might download a virus through these links and compromise the security of their PC.
The Internet Never Forgets
Anything that your kid shares on the internet is shared forever. It is hard to delete a post from the internet even if you didn’t make it public.
For example, if your child sends a message, picture, etc., to someone, that person will always have a way to save it. The information might resurface later and cause harm to the child.
A child might not know the long-time implication of such actions, so it’s your job to make them understand this.
Why The Internet Safety Matter?
The school-age kids go online to play games, check out videos and connect with family and friends.
There are particular risks when children use the internet to communicate with others – through online games or social media.
Children also rely on the internet for homework and school work. They mostly use tablets, mobile phones, computers, TVs, etc., to access the internet.
Supervising them on all these devices can be hard, making them more prone to internet safety risks.
Therefore, taking the necessary internet precautions will help keep your kid safe from inappropriate or harmful content and activities.
By now, you know how to explain internet safety to a child. Talking to a child about online safety is the best way to keep them safe.
You should do it regularly to help the child feel relaxed about the topic. Plus, it’ll make it much easier for them to talk to you if they experience issues such as cyberbullying.