Are your children really safe at home if a stranger can message them online? Internet safety for kids is a major issue many modern parents wrestle with. And the challenges they face are constantly evolving.
Still, there’s a lot parents can do to help their children stay secure. From safety tips for kids to building better habits, here are five steps to enhancing your child’s safety online.
1. Lay down a small number of keystone guidelines
It’s important that your kids know how to deal with internet risks when you’re not around. To keep things simple, set just a few keystone rules they can use in a variety of situations.
These could be as simple as “Don’t talk to strangers online” or “Always check with a parent before creating an online account”. Creating too many specific restrictions could be overwhelming and make kids more inclined to keep things to themselves. Stick to a few core golden rules.
2. Build habits of communication
Communication is essential for keeping your kids safe online. It’s important to show an interest in what they’ve been doing on the internet, and encourage them to share their experiences. For many young people, what’s happening in their digital spaces is as real as anything that might occur at a friend’s house or in school.
Have they played any new games recently, or found a new channel on Twitch? Are they keeping in touch with friends online, or watching specific YouTube creators? If you make talking about internet activity feel normal, it’ll be a lot easier to keep track of what your children are doing.
3. Make use of parental locks and ISP safety tools
While communication is important, a few hard locks on dangerous or inappropriate content can also be useful. Take full advantage of online safety tools you may already have at your disposal.
The simplest way to do this is through your internet service provider (ISP). Contact the company that supplies your home internet connection and find out what restrictions they can put in place. Most ISPs can block certain keywords and limit access to specific sites. Set up restrictions through your ISP to ensure that every connected device in the house plays by the same rules.
4. Monitor gaming consoles as well as smartphones
Parents place a lot of focus on how young people use their smartphones, but there are other ways to communicate online. For instance, most multiplayer video games come with chat options, and these are now some of the most popular forms of entertainment among children.
From “Fortnite” on the Playstation to Switch exclusives like “Animal Crossing”, your kids may find themselves on online forums with strangers on a regular basis. So, unwanted messages and cyberbullying aren’t problems unique to platforms like Facebook or Snapchat. Make sure to talk to your kids about their experiences with consoles and multiplayer games.
5. Raise your own understanding and keep up to date with the internet
Being out of touch with the realities of the online world might be the biggest challenge parents are facing now. Your kids will often learn and adapt to new digital trends and platforms before you do, so it can be hard to understand the risks they face.
Make sure you follow up on the communication habits we talked about earlier with proper research. If your kids mention something about their internet experience that you’re not familiar with, take time to look it up yourself.
It’s also worth talking to other parents about their experiences either in person or through online forums. There are plenty of websites for adults to discuss internet safety and share tips and news. The more you understand the world towards which your kids are moving, the safer they will be.
Enhance your security with NordPass
Learning more about online threats and cybersecurity will make your home internet safer for you and your family. By focusing on a few foundational points like, for example, protecting yourself against phishing threats or improving password habits, you can raise your overall security standards.
To take your password security to the next level, start with NordPass. The service will generate complex, hard-to-crack login details and securely store them in encrypted vaults. Whenever you need to access an account, you can use the NordPass autofill function.
Keeping your kids safe online is always a priority. Let NordPass handle your passwords, so you can focus on the important things.