Cyber Safety for kids: A New Virtual Stress for parents
Keeping kids protected against dangers is always on parents’ minds, be it from real-life threats or virtual threats. Things turn a little scary in the virtual world because kids are vulnerable to host of online threats like exposure to adult and violent content, viruses, hackers intrusions and more, while parents are not even aware of their kids’ online activities. Child Internet Safety is becoming a big concern among parents today as Internet is creeping into everyday lives of most kids. According to a survey conducted by Cyberoam NetGenie, 75% of parents are very worried about kids coming across adult content, online. Also, 76 % parents are concerned regarding the endless chatting and surfing sessions by kids. Adding to their woes, every 1 out 2 parents have no means to control their kids’ Internet usage. Cyber Safety for kids thus remains an unresolved problem faced by most parents.
Need for online safety for kids is further aggravated from the fact that kids spent more time on entertainment and gaming content on the Internet, rather than academic sites. About 70 % of kids (6-16 years) play online games, followed by internet surfing for education and online music.
Cyberoam NetGenie feels that Child Internet Safety can be achieved without the need to be stern or physically monitor and annoy kids by parents.. Here are some useful tips that will help parents to keep their kids stay safe online:
Keep private things private: Nothing is private on the Internet. Educate kids to not share their passwords, address, phone numbers, IM username or any other personal detail with anyone without your consent.
Stay Away from Unwanted Contact: Stop your kid from responding to unknown messages, photo, and mail or friend request. They must report any such requests to you.
Watching adult/ violent content accidently: Encourage your kids to share with you incidents on disturbing content over sites, pictures, emails, videos or any other material, without feeling guilty or scared.
Schedule time for non-academic stuff: Playing online games, chatting, using social networking and all other non academic activities should be scheduled based on mutual agreement between parents and kids.
Maintain net-discipline: Explain to your kids about not using offensive language online. Educate them on using kind and polite language, maintaining self-respect and respecting others online.
Trusting anything online: Inform them that everything online may not be real. Caution them about trusting online friends, sharing private photos and videos, and meeting them in person.
Talk, Talk, Talk: Build a strong communication with your kids. Talk to them about their internet activities, time-to-time. Become a friend to them rather than a hovering parent who intrudes their personal space. A strong communication bridge is the key to cyber safety for kids.
If the above mentioned points are mutually agreed and worked upon by parents and kids, then solving the issue of providing online safety for kids can be dealt with ease.
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