Online safety tips for children

A parent understands how stressful taking care of a child is today. Apart from bullying at school and on the street, there is the added trauma of constant bullying and threats online. Here are some online safety tips for your family to stay safe.

Online Safety Tips for Kids

Online safety would have been unheard of years ago. Growing up I never had a computer, there was no question of accessing the Internet. Parents would be worried about their kids being beaten up in school or visiting shady video parlours.

Today everyone has access to the Internet. It is easy to get connected to the Internet even on your mobile. Most parents consider it a status quo to get their child the latest mobile on the block (or the latest laptop). They however fail to recognize the threat their kids are exposed to which is far worse than being run down or molested.

Why you need these Online Safety Tips for Kids

As a mother of 2 kids, I panic if I see them near the computer. Schools have introduced advanced and modern courses in computers. My daughter can even prepare her own word document and writes essays and poems on my computer. This makes me very proud and happy. One day she asked me if she could play a computer game (online). I did not think much of it, till she mentioned she had created a login for herself.
I panicked. If you are a parent, you probably connect with me and many other parents like me who want the best of both worlds. We want our kids to be computer savvy, intelligent and smart. However, we do not want them to fall prey to the filthy people online posing as kids and waiting to prey on our innocent children.

Online Safety Tips for Kids Every Parent Must Know

First and foremost educate your child on the bad world online. Don't scare the child, but try to explain that all that seems is not what it is. I remember crying when I watched Aamir Khan's show, Satymev Jayete. The episode on child abuse was a shocker. If you have watched the show, you will understand how children (even teenagers) have no clue; they are being abused or bullied.
So make them aware yourself. If you are shy, scared, unsure then ask for help. There are many counselors who are willing to educate your child on what is good and what is bad. School teachers can be asked to educate kids as well.

Online Safety is Essential for your Kid – Educate your kid

Second, tell them never to use their own name online. Teach them to use a pseudo name or an alias. An example pseudo name could be computer whiz, mob1234, anything but their own name.

Third, ask them to never, ever divulge their name and address. Most kids are so innocent and they lay it all bare online. Their name address and even contact number is never to disclosed.

Fourth online tip for your kid - Don't join chat rooms

As a child you want to hang out in a forum and connect with other kids, and I like that myself. The sad part is that this is the preying ground for rapists, child offenders and bullies. Tell your kids to not join chat rooms and if they do, make sure you are aware of their login.

Fifth tip - Do not respond to bad or negative comments

If your child gets a negative comment from someone, via a hate mail or hate chat then he must know how to respond. First and foremost he must be taught that they must not respond or react to that at all. Second, as k them to make a note or copy and paste that comment on a notepad and save it on the desktop. Third, they must remember to let you know of the document so that you can take a look at it and take action.

Sixth tip - Don't upload your photo

Ask your child never to upload their picture online or share it with anyone at all. Posting a picture online can be very troublesome and explain to them that whatever is posted online is visible to anyone and can be used in any manner possible. An innocent picture can be mutated and misused for malicious purposes.

Seventh tip – Tell them if they feel uncomfortable then to quit

If your child feels uncomfortable then she must not continue doing what she is doing. This is because, it must not be right. Tell her how she will know something is not right. Just like how she might feel bad when she is cheating or telling a lie, she will know if something is not right.

Eighth online tip for your kid - Don't let someone threaten you

At no point is bullying okay ever. This must be told to your child, because they simply might not be aware of this fact. Small simple things have to be told, because these are thing you have learnt from trial and error and they are not aware of all this.

Nine - People are providing wrong information online

To be honest this is something even I did not know for a while. An innocent kid can never imagine that the 13 year old girl she is chatting with is a 40 year old man. They are not aware that such things can happen at all. It is our duty to inform them of such things in the most simple and non dramatic way possible. Your intention is to educate your child and not to scare him or her away.

Tenth tip - Ask them where they spend their time online

This is probably the first thing you should do. Ask them questions about what they do online. Who are their friends? What are their favorite websites? What do they do there?

These 10 Online Safety Tips should give you a head start on how to tackle tricky situations. This list is not exhaustive ad should be used as a guide. Remember as a parent it is your duty to watch your child's every move online.

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