Today’s society is ambivalent about the use of technology and the internet in our home life. Today’s technology has become an important part of everyone’s life. Everyone uses technology as a way to connect with the rest of the world.
Going back to the old days, it was the norm for families to gather around the table and talk face to face rather than through the internet. The internet and technology were never known to people those days.
However, nowadays Digitalization has changed the way parents and kids communicate, have fun, and solve everyday problems. Kids often use smartphones, so their initial digital interaction creates new challenges for parent-child relationships and roles.
Kids of 3-4 age use smartphones just to play games or watch movies, and often parents introduce themselves to their kids when they are bored. Kids use digital technology at home for intense activities, especially on holidays. With the popularity of the internet among young ones, it is estimated that one in three users are kids.
Some call it addiction, while some call it an important need. However, kids spending hours and hours with technology does not seem good. As a responsible parent, you need to be aware of the concept of technology and its unseen effects; after all, the impact of technology on all of us is unavoidable. Thus, there is no doubt that digitalization has made parenting harder in many ways.
From a given survey, 69% of parents say they have a smartphone at home, and 40% say they have a tablet. And of all parents, the vast majority (70%) do not believe that devices make parenting easier, compared with 29% of those who say yes.
Always take a look at the dangers children face online because the internet can be a dangerous area for children and adolescents. From online predators to social media posts that may come back to haunt you at a later age, the dangers can be frightening. First of all, it is a matter of conscience: to know what dangers await and how to protect yourself from them.
According to Internet Safety 101, 90% of kids who use social media ignore the bullying behavior they have witnessed and have become victims of cyberbullying. For example, children may be teased on social media or in an online game.
The best way to protect against cyberbullying is to feel comfortable talking to your kids about what’s going on in their lives and how to deal with bullies.
Kids don’t understand social boundaries. They may post private information online on their social media profiles, which should not be published. And this can be anything from random photos to the location of their home. Don’t spy, but talk to your child about boundaries publicly.
Sexual predators stalk kids online, pursue their innocence, abuse their trust, and can end up seducing them into dangerous people. These predators hide on social media that kids love. They exploit both the innocence of kids and their imagination.
Though the FBI offers guidance on how to protect your kids from predators and other online threats – the best protection is being able to talk to your children about what’s going on in their lives.
Cybersecurity experts refer to phishing as the use of email, which attempts to trick people into clicking malicious links. Phishing emails can appear at any time, but the cybercriminals who created them spy on websites that are popular with kids and collect information, such as email addresses and the names of your friends, for their use.
Teach your kids not to click on emails or text messages from strangers. And also, be careful of messages of those who just claim to be your friend but don’t contain genuine private messages.
Malware is software that is installed without the knowledge of the victim and performs malicious actions on the computer. This includes stealing personal information from your computer. People are often tricked by cybercriminals, and they end up downloading malware. Phishing is one of them. However, child education is the best defense, but there is some antivirus software that can help keep your kid’s computer safe from any malware.
Kids probably won’t fall in love with those who offer them a million dollars, but they may fall in love with a scam that offers something that interests them, like free access to online games. However, the best defense against scams knows that if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Teach your child to be aware of online offers that promise too much.
Have an open conversation with your kid about who they are communicating with and how. Make sure they understand the kind of interaction, i.e., discriminatory or inappropriate contact, is not acceptable. If your kid is experiencing any of this, then let them know that you will be there with them and listen to their conversation.
Establish some rules for the duration of use of the devices under your supervision as often as possible. Being a parent, it is your responsibility to limit the amount of time your child can use the device, set limits on inappropriate content, and make sure your kids follow those rules.
Make sure your kid’s device has the latest antivirus software, and privacy settings are turned on. Always cover your webcam when not in use. As a parent, you can use parental controls apps on your kids smartphone that can help maintain a positive internet experience. Also, beware of free online educational resources because your child needs to provide personal information to use these resources. Help your kids learn to keep personal information private, especially from unknown ones.
Teach your kids about good online behaviors. Encourage your kids to be kind to their classmates, and be careful what they are wearing during video calls. Familiarize yourself with college rules and helplines to record cyberbullying. As kids spend most of their time online, they may be exposed to unnecessary advertising, which could promote inappropriate content.
Tell your kids not to share any personal information online, such as age, home address, contact number. Don’t forget to turn off geotagging photos and talk about strangers together.
Keeping secrets of what they do online, being away from family can all be signs that an online sex offender is taking advantage of your child, so look out for any behavioral changes.
Your kids are more likely to have access to computers at school or at friends’ homes. Therefore ask them where they are online, and talk to their friends’ parents about how they control their kid’s internet use.
Always create an environment for your kids to communicate safely online with friends and family. Connecting with the world is more important than ever, and this can be a great opportunity for you to demonstrate kindness. Help your kids to recognize and avoid inappropriate content that can increase concerns about the COVID19 virus. Find age-appropriate apps, games, and other forms of online entertainment with your child.
Time at home is a great chance for your kids to share their views and support for the struggling ones during this crisis. Encourage your child to use digital tools to help them stay active, such as exercise videos for kids on the internet and video games that require high physical activity. Never forget to balance online with offline activities, including spending time outdoors whenever possible.
Tell your kids that online strangers are not friends. Remind your kids that people often lie about their profile and that internet predators often pose as children. Make sure that your kids never disclose their personal information, such as an address, contact number, etc. Knowing all these can help an online predator find your child in real life. So, have an eye on whom and where your kids are going.
Don’t forget that kids are curious and want to know more about the world. While online content is a great way, parents need to help them make the right decisions and have an honest conversation with their kids about what content is right for them and why. Without giving them clear answers as to why they can’t watch certain shows, this will encourage them to find another way to access that content. And this can be done by giving your kids a time and place to figure it out.
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