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Cyber Safety At Home: Protect Your Kids Online

Invest in security tools and bear these tips in mind to keep your children safe and protected, especially when they’re online.

Most kids haven’t been taught awareness yet of what the world wide web can bring us. While the internet offers us endless options when it comes to satisfying our curiosities, sometimes, it can bring harm to children, especially if unguarded. Below are tips you can use to protect your children online.

Internet Filtering Software

The first thing that should come to mind when you have young children at home is internet filtering software. There is a right time to discuss content for adults such as sexually explicit content (pornographic videos and photos), graphic content (gore or use of lethal weapons), and/or just generally age-inappropriate things like use of drugs and alcohol or foul language. However, when you have impressionable young children at home, exposure to content meant for adult consumption is not suitable for them.

Some internet filtering software you can install are Kaspersky Safe Kids which is best for big families. There is also Locategy, that can track your kids’ location. For high configurability and ease of usage, the best option is Qustodio Parental Control. Meanwhile, other software that you can choose from are Symantec Norton Family Premier, Circle Home Plus, and Clean Router, which are all good choices as well.

Good Antivirus Software

Your children are not well-informed enough to determine phishing scammers. Pop-up advertisements may seem attractive to your kids’ eyes, but they may contain malware or spyware. It’s best to install antivirus software for your children so phishing scammers won’t even reach your email or social media.

Picking a good antivirus software means knowing what your family needs. Most families have their own WiFi-capable devices instead of just one computer. For multi-device antivirus software, try McAfee AntiVirus Plus. If you’re looking for speed, try Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for lots of bonus features, choose Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. Other antivirus programs include Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Norton AntiVirus Plus, ESET NOD32 Antivirus and Trend Micro Antivirus Security.

Child-Safe VPN

Filtering and antivirus software are not enough. Sometimes, you also have to protect your individual devices. A private connection to a public network is ideal. If your children connect to public networks often, it’s good to put their device on a VPN, especially when sending important emails, paying some bills, or shopping for things online.

Some good choices for VPN are ExpressVPN, Surfshark, NordVPN, ProtonVPN, and IPVanish. ExpressVPN is the best overall brand, especially in terms of privacy and speed. Meanwhile, Surfshark has the most features among all VPN choices. IPVanish is best for beginners. NordVPN and ProtonVPN are both good at security and reliability, as well as speed. Other options include Hotspot Shield, Tunnelbear, and Windscribe.

Strong Passwords

Tell your kids to avoid setting passwords that are too predictable, like birthdays or pet’s names. As much as possible, include upper and lower key characters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also better if your passwords are longer than usual. It may take more time for logging in, but that will make it more difficult for cyber intruders to hack into your account. Your children should never reveal their password to anyone outside of their trusted circle, like family.

Remember to make your passwords different, especially when kids can have access to online banking, shopping, or any site that involves money and personal information. Don’t reuse your passwords for safety purposes as well. If your children have a history of trying to log into your accounts without permission, talk them out of doing it. But if they’ve proven themselves to be stubborn, then never tell them what your passwords are.

Careful Posting

Internet sexual predators and cyberbullies will do anything to attack your children. On your part, you should tell your kids to protect themselves whenever you can’t. Don’t post personal details or talk to strangers online. Tell your kids to lock their Facebook profiles and set their other socials on private mode. Otherwise, they may be exposed to cyber danger.

Talk to your children about predatory behavior and be open to them. The more you don’t talk about avoiding malicious people on the internet, the more your kids will stay ignorant and end up entertaining predators online. It’s best to tell them now and make them think before they post anything online.

Going To Trusted Websites Only

Teach your children to ask you first when they are visiting certain websites. Even in these websites, share with them the things to look out for, like suspicious posts or links to unknown sites. Train your kids to think before they make any moves online. If they get curious towards sites for mingling with strangers, tell them to know their limits and expound on it. Don't just block their attempts; rationalize your words and actions so that children listen to you.

Some ways to tell if a website is reliable is if they’re from government institutions, schools or universities, foundations, and organizations, if the articles are constantly updated, if the grammatical correctness of written posts, and if the posts have bylines. These are just a few things to look out for among many others. For more ways to gauge the reliability of a website, read this list.  

Knowing Your Children Well

It all starts with a good relationship with your kids. If you correct them in a diplomatic way and earn their trust, they’re less likely to keep secrets from you. Tell your children that it’s okay to tell you everything that’s going on in their life. They may be dealing with a sexual predator online or a classmate of theirs that cyberbullies them.

For parents, this is naturally a major concern. As responsible parents, see to it that you know what goes on in your children’s lives. The main reason you want to protect them online is because you are concerned with their safety and protection. Show your kids that you love and care for them by knowing who their friends are in school, or if someone is bullying them. This is an effective way to make sure that they’re alright mentally and emotionally.

Make Sure Your Kids Are Safe And Sound

It’s good that there is technology to monitor and regulate what kind of content your kids are consuming, as well as who your kids interact with. While internet filtering, antivirus software, and VPN helps a lot on the technology side, it’s still good to discipline and warn your kids with practical rules and tips.

Parenting doesn’t go offline; parents are always parents 24/7, so it’s important to make decisions that will benefit your children, especially the choices you will make to protect them and keep them safe.

What rules do you give your kids when going online? Do you monitor them closely, or are you more lenient? Whatever your parenting style is, always think about the safety of your children. Never take their online lives lightly.

Pay attention to what they watch, what they post, and who they interact with, because you can actually be preventing them from encountering harassers, mudslingers, and predators, especially online. Hopefully this motivated you to be more wary of your children’s online lives.


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