Internet safety is a very serious issue and if you allow your child to browse the internet – especially if they browse the internet by themselves – you should sit them down and have a discussion about internet privacy. Following are five internet safety rules that all children must follow whenever they are browsing the internet.
Never give out any personal information
The internet can be a very misleading place for a child. When they think of the internet, they think of games, funny video and pictures, and having a great time; not internet predators. Internet predators leverage the happy perception children have of the internet and come off as nice people in order to pry information from unsuspecting children. Let your children know that they should never share their real name, address, school, city, parent’s information, or any clues that can lead an identity thief or pedophile to your child.
Downloading is off limits without supervision
Downloading is one of the most popular activities on the internet, but it can be dangerous. Make sure your children understand that while downloading wanted files, they might be downloading unwanted things as well. Virus authors, identity thieves, and online con artists know that parents are hip to most of their tricks and are now targeting free children’s gaming sites, because they can easily fool children. Let your children know that they never allowed to download files unless you are there to monitor their downloading.
Strangers are still strangers even if they are online
As I stated earlier, children look at the internet in a very different way than adults and children make friends very easily. It’s likely that your children know not to talk to strangers in the real world, but online adults can pose as children. It may be hard for your children to understand this and they might not even be aware why an adult would want to pose as a child. Let your children know to be suspicious when making friends online and tell them to let you know any time they make a new friend.
Keep your passwords private
If your child makes a friend online, they might be led to do things that they wouldn’t do, if not for the sake of friendship. A child might feel that they are betraying their child if they don’t do what’s asked and online predators will take advantage of this situation. It’s important that your child never reveal their online passwords because online scammers can compromise their accounts and gain private information associated with the account.
Bring any suspicious or uncomfortable information to your parents
If your child encounters something online that makes them feel uncomfortable or someone that makes them feel pressured, it’s important that they know to bring it to your attention immediately. If your child is sent pictures in poor taste, contacted by someone that’s asking uncomfortable questions, see something disturbing online, or are linked to a strange website, they need to know to stop what they are doing immediately and let you know about the situation.
For more, read How Looking for a Job Online Can Leave You Open to Scams, 5 Common Internet Habits That’ll Make You Victim of Identity Theft, and How I Got My Money Back After Being Phished on PayPal.
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