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Category: Online Safety for Kids

Teaching Kids about Privacy Settings

Parents face immense challenges due to continual advancements in technology and easy access to the internet. Mobile applications, daily web surfing, online video games have become the norm within every family. The ever changing social media landscape may be one of the most challenging issues for parents.

What’s hot now can be replaced by a new social media platforms within a short couple of years. In terms of learning, the latest websites or apps can  help young kids in primary school and beyond learn more efficiently while making it exciting.

No matter what kids are doing online, it’s important to revisit education regarding privacy settings on a regular basis.  Here are some points for consideration as parents navigate this topic.

1. Basic Rules for Kids

It is vital to set up some internet rules for your children at home. In order to keep children safe while online, examine the applications and devices which are used by each child and set up privacy tabs and parenting controls.

It is a good idea to sit with your children and teach them how to use the internet for their advantage in order to learn something new. Set up some basic rules for your children according to your household. For example, never to give passwords to anyone.  Whatever you post should not be disturbing and uncomfortable for others to watch.  And remember to get permission before giving any identifying or private information.

2. Explaining the Importance of the Privacy

No child or teen wants to be spied on, so it’s critically important to promote positive communication and explain to them why privacy concerns are so pressing. Ravenous demand for more and more content on social media puts a person under pressure to share something as well. Take time out to communicate with your kids what should and should not be shared because the world outside is watching.

Secondly, remind them to be civilized as their audience or friends might not have privacy settings. Communication about digital privacy is not a one time conversational.  Things change rapidly online and settings must also be reviewed regularly.   Kids need to understand and remember the value of staying safe in the virtual world.

3. Showing Respect

Respect and empathy are some of the basic skills every person should learn in life. While we talk about privacy settings, privacy itself is a fundamental right of each and every individual. Teach your kids to respect the privacy of others around them. It might not be feasible if they share someone’s information without their consent or post a picture without asking them. Teach your children to be careful about using anyone’s electronic device outside your home as well.

4. Using Privacy Settings

It is imperative to learn how to use the privacy settings for yourself first. This can be a challenge if you don’t even use the applications that your kids are using.  If in doubt, just “Google it” for tips and resources about a particular website or app.

While discussing this topic with younger children and teens, read the terms and conditions of a particular social media platform or app.  Do it with them and allow them to set and change their privacy settings during the conversation.   Such as:  the sharing any data, turning off location tracking or the microphone, using a strong password which cannot be copied or easily cracked.

As much as possible, stay away from public Wi-Fi to keep your connections safe. Making sure that the social media profiles of Facebook, Instagram, etc. are private so no one can excess your information.

5. Hire A Tutor

The issue of privacy setting is quite sensitive and complex. There are times when you are not able to teach your children the value of privacy effectively. In that rare scenario, it’s better to encourage teachers in their schools to have an extra session about this topic. If that is not possible, then consider hiring a tutor who can teach kids how to use the internet safely, browsing with them to help them understand the importance of privacy settings inside their home and within in any social surroundings.

Keeping Up with a Digital World

It may seem impossible to keep up with every social media site or app that kids are using these days.  Trust between parent and child, tween or teen is the starting point to keeping lines of communication open.  Ask your kids what apps they are using. This is a good start.  Chances are they are not even on Facebook anymore.  There are so many new and exciting options online and ultimately, young kids and teens will go where their friends are going.  As mentioned, open communication to build trust and a healthy environment within your home will go a long way to aid us all in this ever evolving digital age.

Parents face immense challenges due to continual advancements in technology and easy access to the internet. Mobile applications, daily web surfing, online video games have become the norm within every family. The ever changing social media landscape may be one of the most challenging issues for parents.

What’s hot now can be replaced by a new social media platforms within a short couple of years. In terms of learning, the latest websites or apps can  help young kids in primary school and beyond learn more efficiently while making it exciting.

No matter what kids are doing online, it’s important to revisit education regarding privacy settings on a regular basis.  Here are some points for consideration as parents navigate this topic.

1. Basic Rules for Kids

It is vital to set up some internet rules for your children at home. In order to keep children safe while online, examine the applications and devices which are used by each child and set up privacy tabs and parenting controls.

It is a good idea to sit with your children and teach them how to use the internet for their advantage in order to learn something new. Set up some basic rules for your children according to your household. For example, never to give passwords to anyone.  Whatever you post should not be disturbing and uncomfortable for others to watch.  And remember to get permission before giving any identifying or private information.

2. Explaining the Importance of the Privacy

No child or teen wants to be spied on, so it’s critically important to promote positive communication and explain to them why privacy concerns are so pressing. Ravenous demand for more and more content on social media puts a person under pressure to share something as well. Take time out to communicate with your kids what should and should not be shared because the world outside is watching.

Secondly, remind them to be civilized as their audience or friends might not have privacy settings. Communication about digital privacy is not a one time conversational.  Things change rapidly online and settings must also be reviewed regularly.   Kids need to understand and remember the value of staying safe in the virtual world.

3. Showing Respect

Respect and empathy are some of the basic skills every person should learn in life. While we talk about privacy settings, privacy itself is a fundamental right of each and every individual. Teach your kids to respect the privacy of others around them. It might not be feasible if they share someone’s information without their consent or post a picture without asking them. Teach your children to be careful about using anyone’s electronic device outside your home as well.

4. Using Privacy Settings

It is imperative to learn how to use the privacy settings for yourself first. This can be a challenge if you don’t even use the applications that your kids are using.  If in doubt, just “Google it” for tips and resources about a particular website or app.

While discussing this topic with younger children and teens, read the terms and conditions of a particular social media platform or app.  Do it with them and allow them to set and change their privacy settings during the conversation.   Such as:  the sharing any data, turning off location tracking or the microphone, using a strong password which cannot be copied or easily cracked.

As much as possible, stay away from public Wi-Fi to keep your connections safe. Making sure that the social media profiles of Facebook, Instagram, etc. are private so no one can excess your information.

5. Hire A Tutor

The issue of privacy setting is quite sensitive and complex. There are times when you are not able to teach your children the value of privacy effectively. In that rare scenario, it’s better to encourage teachers in their schools to have an extra session about this topic. If that is not possible, then consider hiring a tutor who can teach kids how to use the internet safely, browsing with them to help them understand the importance of privacy settings inside their home and within in any social surroundings.

Keeping Up with a Digital World

It may seem impossible to keep up with every social media site or app that kids are using these days.  Trust between parent and child, tween or teen is the starting point to keeping lines of communication open.  Ask your kids what apps they are using. This is a good start.  Chances are they are not even on Facebook anymore.  There are so many new and exciting options online and ultimately, young kids and teens will go where their friends are going.  As mentioned, open communication to build trust and a healthy environment within your home will go a long way to aid us all in this ever evolving digital age.

How to Know What to Trust Online

Finding fun games, learning cool new things, and talking to your friends is what the internet is for. But just like in real life, you have to be smart and safe. It might seem silly to think about safety when you’re on the web alone in your room, but it’s important to make sure you’re trusting the right sites and people.

Unfortunately, some bad people on the internet may try to scam you out of money or your personal identity, which can cause a lot of problems. You might also pick up viruses or malware, which will load your computer with advertisements or misleading links.

(This article is directed at kids, but parents can pick up some knowledge too).

Ask your parents what’s safe

If you and your parents discuss ahead of time which sites and activities are okay, you’ll run into far fewer problems. For an easy way to stay on the right sites, ask your parents to make a folder with links to all your favorite websites saved inside. That way, you won’t accidentally go somewhere else.

This applies when you’re at school too. Just because your parents approve of something doesn’t mean your teachers will. Schools are usually a little more watchful of websites and may even have blockers for specific sites or searches.

Social media and apps

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites can be a great way to connect with friends and people with similar interests, but it’s also where a lot of trolls set up camp. Keep your profile private and your circle small.

When it comes to apps, you can usually spot a bad one by how it’s advertised and how often ads pop up. Sometimes you can make in-app purchases and upgrade to remove ads, but you should get these approved by your parents.

Don’t talk to strangers

You’ve probably heard this before, but the easiest way to stay safe online is by only friending, following, and talking with people you know in real life. Although you can stay mostly anonymous in chat rooms, it’s important to remember that others can, too, and a stranger can easily pretend to be someone they’re not. With this in mind, it’s worth it to approach every chat with caution.

Sometimes a stranger will seem friendly, but then they’ll ask for something in return. Don’t click any links they send, and don’t give out any of your personal information. What counts as personal information? Things like your name, family, address, school, or anything else that can help them identify you.

If you do plan to visit stranger-filled sites, make sure to check with your parents and ask them if anything seems fishy.

Don’t reply to people with weird usernames

A friendly “Hi” with a heart emoji might seem harmless, but when it comes from a username like puppycutie88398, it’s probably a sign that it’s spam (messages meant to scam people). You can tell a username is fishy because it has random numbers, usually combined with two common words or names.

Strange usernames and strangely-phrased messages are a good indicator of spam. These spammers could be trying to sell you something (and perhaps steal your money by selling a fake product), steal and misuse your personal information, or build a friendship initially order to scam you later.

Either way, sometimes simply responding gives these people (or sometimes robots) a sign that they might be able to hack into your information, and that could lead to more requests. Ignore these messages altogether and avoid future problems.

Set up privacy settings

When you take the time to make sure your online profiles are private, strangers are less likely to bug you. Sometimes it might not even seem like a big deal to post a picture online of you and your friends, but an online predator might catch on to what schools or parks you hang out at.

Parental controls are less about taking away your freedom and more about protecting you. If something that’s blocked seems fine to you, ask your parents if they approve of it and they can remove the block.

Turn off location settings

One of the easiest ways to make sure you’re not being tracked, or that a post won’t reveal where you are, is to turn off location settings. Most of the time, apps and social media will ask for permission to share this info first, but it’s always good to double-check your settings.

Additional tips:

  • Popular apps are usually safer by nature, but with more people comes more potential for problems. Even if an app itself is safe, the users may not be, so use caution no matter which app you’re using.
  • Any time you have to put in personal information beyond a username or email for an account, get a parent involved. You should avoid putting in your address, payment information, or any other personal info on your own.
  • Make sure to turn on safe search filters for Google and other search engines, especially when looking for images. Some questionable content may come up just because it has a similar name to what you’re searching for, so safe search filters can help weed out things you don’t want to see.

Finding fun games, learning cool new things, and talking to your friends is what the internet is for. But just like in real life, you have to be smart and safe. It might seem silly to think about safety when you’re on the web alone in your room, but it’s important to make sure you’re trusting the right sites and people.

Unfortunately, some bad people on the internet may try to scam you out of money or your personal identity, which can cause a lot of problems. You might also pick up viruses or malware, which will load your computer with advertisements or misleading links.

(This article is directed at kids, but parents can pick up some knowledge too).

Ask your parents what’s safe

If you and your parents discuss ahead of time which sites and activities are okay, you’ll run into far fewer problems. For an easy way to stay on the right sites, ask your parents to make a folder with links to all your favorite websites saved inside. That way, you won’t accidentally go somewhere else.

This applies when you’re at school too. Just because your parents approve of something doesn’t mean your teachers will. Schools are usually a little more watchful of websites and may even have blockers for specific sites or searches.

Social media and apps

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites can be a great way to connect with friends and people with similar interests, but it’s also where a lot of trolls set up camp. Keep your profile private and your circle small.

When it comes to apps, you can usually spot a bad one by how it’s advertised and how often ads pop up. Sometimes you can make in-app purchases and upgrade to remove ads, but you should get these approved by your parents.

Don’t talk to strangers

You’ve probably heard this before, but the easiest way to stay safe online is by only friending, following, and talking with people you know in real life. Although you can stay mostly anonymous in chat rooms, it’s important to remember that others can, too, and a stranger can easily pretend to be someone they’re not. With this in mind, it’s worth it to approach every chat with caution.

Sometimes a stranger will seem friendly, but then they’ll ask for something in return. Don’t click any links they send, and don’t give out any of your personal information. What counts as personal information? Things like your name, family, address, school, or anything else that can help them identify you.

If you do plan to visit stranger-filled sites, make sure to check with your parents and ask them if anything seems fishy.

Don’t reply to people with weird usernames

A friendly “Hi” with a heart emoji might seem harmless, but when it comes from a username like puppycutie88398, it’s probably a sign that it’s spam (messages meant to scam people). You can tell a username is fishy because it has random numbers, usually combined with two common words or names.

Strange usernames and strangely-phrased messages are a good indicator of spam. These spammers could be trying to sell you something (and perhaps steal your money by selling a fake product), steal and misuse your personal information, or build a friendship initially order to scam you later.

Either way, sometimes simply responding gives these people (or sometimes robots) a sign that they might be able to hack into your information, and that could lead to more requests. Ignore these messages altogether and avoid future problems.

Set up privacy settings

When you take the time to make sure your online profiles are private, strangers are less likely to bug you. Sometimes it might not even seem like a big deal to post a picture online of you and your friends, but an online predator might catch on to what schools or parks you hang out at.

Parental controls are less about taking away your freedom and more about protecting you. If something that’s blocked seems fine to you, ask your parents if they approve of it and they can remove the block.

Turn off location settings

One of the easiest ways to make sure you’re not being tracked, or that a post won’t reveal where you are, is to turn off location settings. Most of the time, apps and social media will ask for permission to share this info first, but it’s always good to double-check your settings.

Additional tips:

  • Popular apps are usually safer by nature, but with more people comes more potential for problems. Even if an app itself is safe, the users may not be, so use caution no matter which app you’re using.
  • Any time you have to put in personal information beyond a username or email for an account, get a parent involved. You should avoid putting in your address, payment information, or any other personal info on your own.
  • Make sure to turn on safe search filters for Google and other search engines, especially when looking for images. Some questionable content may come up just because it has a similar name to what you’re searching for, so safe search filters can help weed out things you don’t want to see.

Small Print for Small Humans

kids online privacy policies

Do you really want someone to use your phone to record what you say without you knowing? Do you really want strangers looking at all your pictures and texts? Then you better learn about SMALL PRINT. How about strangers selling your pictures and texts to other people? Or following everything you do online?

Of course, secretly peeking into your life is wrong. Still, you probably clicked on a box that gave someone you don’t know permission to do just that.

Whenever you activate a phone or play a computer game or download an app, you see itsy bitsy print at the bottom of the pages. Those tiny words are filled with things that you need to check off before you can use your new computer or play that new game.  Those words can be so small that you probably can’t even read them.

If you could read them, they’d sound like gibberish. Many adults with years of education have trouble understanding what those weird words mean. Your parents should look at any small print that you check off, but they might have problems figuring out what they say. What people do know is that when you check the “AGREED” box, you give strangers permission to do scary things.

Do you:

– use a web browser?

– play games online?

– download apps to your phone or computer?

– upload pictures for your friends to see?

-store pictures or text in a cloud?

If you do, then here is a list of just some of the things that you have probably agreed to let strangers do:

  • turn your video and audio recorders on
  • take and use your pictures and videos
  • turn your gaming machine off forever
  • track everything you do online and share or sell your activity
  • prevent you or your parents from legally stopping people from sharing details from your lives.

Small print is tricky. Teams of well-trained lawyers spend thousands of hours working on every little word. All that time and all those brains are there to protect the big companies that you use online. It’s up to you and your parents to protect YOU.

Make a point of looking for small print. Grab a bunch of your friends and see if all of you can figure out exactly what you agree to when you click that little box. You will be surprised.

 

Do you really want someone to use your phone to record what you say without you knowing? Do you really want strangers looking at all your pictures and texts? Then you better learn about SMALL PRINT. How about strangers selling your pictures and texts to other people? Or following everything you do online?

Of course, secretly peeking into your life is wrong. Still, you probably clicked on a box that gave someone you don’t know permission to do just that.

Whenever you activate a phone or play a computer game or download an app, you see itsy bitsy print at the bottom of the pages. Those tiny words are filled with things that you need to check off before you can use your new computer or play that new game.  Those words can be so small that you probably can’t even read them.

If you could read them, they’d sound like gibberish. Many adults with years of education have trouble understanding what those weird words mean. Your parents should look at any small print that you check off, but they might have problems figuring out what they say. What people do know is that when you check the “AGREED” box, you give strangers permission to do scary things.

Do you:

– use a web browser?

– play games online?

– download apps to your phone or computer?

– upload pictures for your friends to see?

-store pictures or text in a cloud?

If you do, then here is a list of just some of the things that you have probably agreed to let strangers do:

  • turn your video and audio recorders on
  • take and use your pictures and videos
  • turn your gaming machine off forever
  • track everything you do online and share or sell your activity
  • prevent you or your parents from legally stopping people from sharing details from your lives.

Small print is tricky. Teams of well-trained lawyers spend thousands of hours working on every little word. All that time and all those brains are there to protect the big companies that you use online. It’s up to you and your parents to protect YOU.

Make a point of looking for small print. Grab a bunch of your friends and see if all of you can figure out exactly what you agree to when you click that little box. You will be surprised.

 

How to Protect Minors in the Internet Age

Safe Kids Online

In the last few years the way we communicate with our loved ones has changed, also how we spend our leisure time. Social networks such as Facebook or Instagram and platforms like YouTube are the big influencers in this new world in which we live in.

Today, many of us spend so many hours in front of screens, whether the reason is watching kitten videos or chatting with our colleagues at work or in class.

These changes in our way of living have not only occurred in adults, but also in many children.  Kids are now spending hours in front of their smartphones or tablets.

However, this sudden change in our society has created a security breach that affects all of us, and minors are not excluded. That’s why parents and guardians must rethink how they are protected, adapting to an ever-evolving technological society.

Therefore, in this article we offer some advice on how to protect minors in the internet era:

  1. Set time limits they are allowed to use their devices.
  2. Check what your children are using their devices for and block unwanted and unsafe websites.
  3. Educate them to use technology in a responsible way and respecting other users on the internet. As it happens in real life, respect for others is key on the internet and for their education.
  4. Make them understand that they should not add or talk to strangers or people they don’t know in real life.
  5. Instruct them not to share any personal information with anyone online. Protecting your privacy is key to all of us, including minors. It is vital teach them that everything they share on the internet will be always there.
  6. Keep an eye on what they post or share on their social networks. Being aware of what they write or talk about on social media is essential to knowing more about them and avoiding future problems
  7. Use safe search websites that block unsuitable content. Safe boundaries allow kids to thrive as they explore the wealth of information on the internet without the usual dangers.
  8. Control the app installations in their devices. There are different app markets which contain huge amounts of apps from different categories. Avoid the download of inappropriate apps based on their content.
  9. Set a daily schedule in which they can use their devices and block their use during the night or in school. The use of devices in class can affect and reduce their school performance, so it’s advisable to block or limit use during school hours.
  10. Use the services of a good parental control program which offers all the features you may need for the protection of your kids.
  11. And last but the most important of all, let them know that they can always count on you for help and support when they might feel in danger.

The security and protection needs for our kids are always changing.  It’s difficult for parents to keep up with new trends in technology, but has never been more important for safety and development.

In the last few years the way we communicate with our loved ones has changed, also how we spend our leisure time. Social networks such as Facebook or Instagram and platforms like YouTube are the big influencers in this new world in which we live in.

Today, many of us spend so many hours in front of screens, whether the reason is watching kitten videos or chatting with our colleagues at work or in class.

These changes in our way of living have not only occurred in adults, but also in many children.  Kids are now spending hours in front of their smartphones or tablets.

However, this sudden change in our society has created a security breach that affects all of us, and minors are not excluded. That’s why parents and guardians must rethink how they are protected, adapting to an ever-evolving technological society.

Therefore, in this article we offer some advice on how to protect minors in the internet era:

  1. Set time limits they are allowed to use their devices.
  2. Check what your children are using their devices for and block unwanted and unsafe websites.
  3. Educate them to use technology in a responsible way and respecting other users on the internet. As it happens in real life, respect for others is key on the internet and for their education.
  4. Make them understand that they should not add or talk to strangers or people they don’t know in real life.
  5. Instruct them not to share any personal information with anyone online. Protecting your privacy is key to all of us, including minors. It is vital teach them that everything they share on the internet will be always there.
  6. Keep an eye on what they post or share on their social networks. Being aware of what they write or talk about on social media is essential to knowing more about them and avoiding future problems
  7. Use safe search websites that block unsuitable content. Safe boundaries allow kids to thrive as they explore the wealth of information on the internet without the usual dangers.
  8. Control the app installations in their devices. There are different app markets which contain huge amounts of apps from different categories. Avoid the download of inappropriate apps based on their content.
  9. Set a daily schedule in which they can use their devices and block their use during the night or in school. The use of devices in class can affect and reduce their school performance, so it’s advisable to block or limit use during school hours.
  10. Use the services of a good parental control program which offers all the features you may need for the protection of your kids.
  11. And last but the most important of all, let them know that they can always count on you for help and support when they might feel in danger.

The security and protection needs for our kids are always changing.  It’s difficult for parents to keep up with new trends in technology, but has never been more important for safety and development.