PARENTING: Guidelines for your kid's online safety

PARENTING: Guidelines for your kid's online safety

In a world riddled with predators, it is better to be proactive rather than reactive...

PARENTING: Guidelines for your kid's online safety
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There's no doubt that we are in the age of smart devices. Our kids have a natural migration to want to explore the gadget world and somehow are naturally inclined to the workings of these gadgets. 

It's almost as if they received training before they got here on how to operate smart devices - it's that or it's evolution proving its existence in the most 'ah-ha' way. Nevertheless, it is both amazing and scary that they are tech savvy...

Of course, as schools are preparing to close, the whole family is gearing up for the holidays. Most of that involves screen time, and sometimes that translates into unlimited screen time, which can be concerning. 

As a way of feeling more in control and having a sense of peace of mind, there are some tips or guidelines that you can follow, as a parent or caregiver, that will help with keeping your child safe whilst online. 

The first thing to do is understanding and creating a balance between the benefits and the risk. For instance, sometimes being online to watch an educational or life-cational show can be beneficial. However the pop-up ads may be risky as these could be online predators targeting clicks. 

Therefore, it is important to discuss this with your kids and make them aware that as much as the online world can be beneficial, it is a two-faced coin and there are also dangers to this world. 

Here are some tips on creating a safer online experience for your children. 

1. Before giving online access to your kids, make sure to sit them down and have a conversation with them about the hazards that come with being online. Make sure to be mindful with the words you use and answer any questions they may have. 

2. Ask them to share anything that they have seen or heard online that left them confused or upset. Make sure to give them time to express themselves. Then talk to them about what they have shared and make sure to be honest about cyberbullying. Maybe finding a good children's show that explains this would be ideal for the family. 

3. This is a key one - when your kids start using devices, make sure to set up parental controls, this will help shield them from harmful sites. Make sure to explain what the purpose of parental controls are, and that keeping them safe is a priority. 

4. It's important to make sure they understand that they shouldn't talk to strangers online, just as they shouldn't speak to strangers in real life. Also, if someone is chatting to them online, they should let you know,.

5. They should be aware not to give out any personal information online. Phone numbers, addresses, and school information should all be private and confidential, and if someone is asking then they should immediately let you know. 

6. Sharing of pics and videos should be monitored. Kids should know that seriousness of sharing this online. It can be used for the wrong intentions by online predators and sometimes, with geolocation updates, can put them in danger. 

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Overall, it's important to ensure that you maintain an open line of communication with your children about their online and offline experiences. Checking in is a huge part of being present and understanding what they are going through. 

Let us know if you have any other guidelines that you follow with your children. 

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