We live in a world where we are surrounded by technology. Internet has become an essential part of our lives. With an easy access to internet, we can enter a whole new world of knowledge, resources and social media. This is the digital world where we can enter with a simple swipe of screen. This lucrative and highly useful digital world is never free from its potential threats and dangers. The most vulnerable victims of this digital world are our kids.
Our innocent kids get easily lured by the videos, images and animations shown to them over the mobiles. They get easily attracted and addicted to the online content being shown to them. Therefore, it becomes highly important to protect them from the various cyber dangers and ensure their online safety.
What is cyber safety and why is it so important?
From the very beginning we become extremely careful with kids. We try to protect them in our best possible way from any danger. We even teach our kids about keeping themselves safe in and out of the house. Just like our world, the digital world is also full of threats, predators, thieves and other bad elements. People try to hack our accounts, steal our identities, and sneak into our private lives and of course, the exposure to inappropriate content.
Children learn to swipe the screens of the mobiles even before they learn to speak clearly. They recognise the icons and know how to play the content of their choice. That is where the problem starts. We think and ensure ourselves that our child is merely watching his favourite cartoon and leave our phones in their custody. But the child might accidentally misprint something or click on the content which he or she must not be exposed to.
Recently, we came to know about the infamous ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ and how teenagers have started committing suicide because of that. That is just one example of how dangerous the digital world can be and how vulnerable our kids are.
What are the various Cyber Dangers?
There can be various kinds of cyber dangers. To name a few:
1. Exposure to inappropriate or adult content
2. Cyber bullying or cyber harassment from others online
3. Eye strain or wrist strain
4. Internet addiction
5. Bad websites like chat room, computer games which might have adult content and other social networking sites.
Five Golden Rules for entering the digital world
Just like we teach our kids certain rules for their safety. There are certain rules which we need to teach our kids for ensuring cyber safety.
1) Don’t give out personal information like address or phone number.
2) Don’t send our pictures of yourself to anyone especially indecent pictures.
3) Don’t open emails or attachments from persons you don’t know.
4) If there is anything that you see or read online, worries you, tell someone about it.
5) Never arrange to meet someone in person whom you have met online.
Ten tips to ensure online safety of our kids
1. Use an internet security suite on all the computers you own.
2. Keep your home network secured with a good password and security settings.
3. Learn to avoid clicking links, ads and emails from people you don’t know.
4. Use a good password which is unique and complex on all your devices and accounts. It should have a good combination of alphabets, numbers and special characters.
5. Talk to your kids about avoiding cybercrime and tell them to be cautious.
6. Advise your kids never to share passwords, not even with close friends.
7. Teach your children to log out of computers after finishing their work.
8. Use the security and privacy settings on all your social networks and all accounts to limit who can access your posts.
9. Learn about parental control settings for all your devices.
10. Talk to your kids regularly about how to use technology.
With these measures in mind, try to keep your kids safe online. Be alert and be cautious before handing out any gadgets to your kids because you never know who might try to harm them and where.