Category: Online Safety for Kids

Why Keeping Games Consoles Secure Should be a Priority

Why Keeping Games Consoles Secure Should be a Priority

The rise in video games cannot be understated. What was once a public novelty has now evolved into a quintessential part of most homes, with children and teenagers firmly accustomed to the idea of playing video games.  Unlike age ratings like for films and content, there is no official or recommended age for using games consoles

With online gaming becoming vastly popular, it’s never been more important for parents to decide if their child can safely use one.  This guide is here to explain why ensuring your child’s gaming system should always be secure, and why overlooking that aspect could present some serious concerns.

Gaming and Consoles are Mainstays of 2024

Recent surveys show that most children aged 7 to 18 (68%) own a games console, with a further 9% having access to one, which is quite telling of the situation many parents and educators find themselves in. At least 53% of US households report owning at least one gaming console, with 26% claiming a ‘next-generation’ model. Not only are video games and consoles firmly ingrained in how kids interact with each other and form social connections, but they also shape their experiences.

As our culture has grown increasingly digitally connected in recent years, it’s no surprise that video gaming consoles have become ‘must-haves’ for today’s youth. With many kids in elementary school playing video games semi-regularly, it’s become a solid necessity to not feel isolated from their peers.

Multiplayer capabilities and a host of new releases making the rounds each year also make consoles highly coveted. Not only that, but the advancements in tech also make gaming more enticing, with keen gamers seeking new consoles and exclusive games to immerse themselves in. Therefore, it’s fair to say that consoles and gaming are here to stay, so parents and caretakers must ensure safe usage, rather than restrict access.

Security Concerns of Video Gaming

Amid all the discourse surrounding video games and their influence on children’s behavior, it cannot be denied that they can, if moderated and monitored appropriately, can have educational and social benefits. However, one thing that remains constant is the level of risk that lies with such proficient online gaming. Consoles introduce risks, ranging from interconnectivity with strangers in online, often ‘lawless’ chatrooms and forums, to a plethora of other cyber security risks and privacy breaches.

Providers and network administrators have their part to play in ensuring the robustness of their infrastructure. They can use mechanisms like vulnerability patching and penetration testing for weaknesses, although each user has to exercise vigilance. Console developers, meanwhile, are often tasked with rigorously securing networks and infrastructure, yet bad actors can still slip through the cracks. Sony recently suffered a series of hacks and security breaches which compromised user data, thus emphasizing the need for bolstering defenses.

Risks and Threats Associated with Gaming Devices

Games consoles introduce a range of potential cyber risks which can be concerning for parents. These include but are not limited to the following:

Personal data collection – Like all internet-connected devices, consoles and games can collect and transmit large amounts of user data. From usernames and passwords to usage data and communications, this information needs safeguarding with precision to prevent it from being used fraudulently or maliciously.

Device takeovers – Unwarranted hacks can give attackers full control over the console and any other connected devices. Remote hackers can compromise a device and expose users to unauthorized or inappropriate content.

Account takeovers – Attackers with stolen login credentials can access user accounts, steal personal information, make fraudulent purchases with saved payment cards, exploit associated email accounts, and much more.

Communication platforms – Instant messaging, and voice chat features can expose vulnerable children to bullying and harassment. If not supervised, kids can become victims of exploitative cyberbullying and social engineering attacks.

Malware risks – Viruses, spyware, and other malware can ‘brick’ games and consoles or render them inaccessible. These can often materialize innocuously without arousing suspicion from users.

Network risks – Gaming on public Wi-Fi networks – or those with poor, weak network security – leaves consoles vulnerable to eavesdropping and MitM (man-in-the-middle) cyber attacks.

This year alone we have seen the aforementioned attacks on the PlayStation Network, as well as a large-scale data leak on the Xbox servers. As these are two of the industry’s most recognizable brands, it only proves that as consoles grow in popularity, they can become more appealing targets for cybercriminals. Therefore, personal safety and security is essential.

Securing Gaming Devices and Accounts

While there are undoubtedly risks when using gaming consoles, they are, fundamentally, no different than those that exist when using the Internet. This type of technology is increasingly available and beneficial, so the steps that parents can take to minimize threats bear many similarities to moderating children’s Internet usage and access.

As a baseline level, consider implementing these controls to keep your kids safer when using online game consoles.

Use Strong Passwords and MFA

Establishing strong, unique passwords – using undecipherable, random strings of letters, numbers, symbols and capitalizations – will make initial barriers harder to break. Avoid using birthdays, pet names, or other easy-to-guess information in passwords.

Keep this data safe and bolster it by allowing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to validate login attempts. It might seem overly protective, but this will prevent usernames and passwords from being compromised.

Limit Personal Info

When setting up accounts, make sure that only essential information is provided. Consider leaving phone numbers, locations, school names, and other identifiable information fields blank, and restricting the access that third-party applications have to this data. Consider also masking real names on user profiles to avoid being targeted or identified.

Monitor Friends and Chats

If your child interacts with friends online, there’s a good chance that, over time, they may encounter mutual friends and broaden their friendship circle online. However, listen carefully to what they say. Take a fervent interest in what they talk about and the interactions they mention in conversation.

If they seem ‘off’ or dissociate, it could indicate that they are interacting with someone anonymous who is worrying or stressing them. Cyberbullies and predators lurk in gaming comms channels, so pay close attention. If necessary, step in and enable parental controls and enhance privacy settings.

Patch Networks and Consoles

Ensure your home Wi-Fi uses modern WPA2 or WPA3 encryption protocols and a long, complicated pre-shared key (password). If relevant, consider installing a separate VPN to offer more robust, controlled connections.

Keep firmware updated on the console itself as well as routers and other network devices, applying all new security patches and revisions when prompted.

Disable remote administration capabilities and UPnP on routers, and, where possible, connect consoles to routers using ethernet cables. This stabilizes the connection between the console and the Internet.

Beware of Social Engineering

Kids may instinctively try to keep their gaming activities secret from parents, particularly if they find it to be an immersive escape from daily life. However, it’s important to bridge that gap where possible and educate them – not forcefully but, rather, openly – on attempts to manipulate them.

Teach them ways to identify attempts to steal login credentials or sensitive data, and emphasize that divulging this could pose a security risk. Phishing emails, notifications, and links can be dangerous, so they should take time to assess their legitimacy before clicking them.

It will help exponentially if your child feels comfortable maintaining autonomy when using their console but flagging up any suspicions to you with confidence, at which point you can intervene without reprimanding them.

While no gaming console security is foolproof, combining the security steps outlined above will significantly reduce the attack surface. Parents must manage and monitor console usage carefully but not to the point where it becomes disruptive or invasive to their child’s enjoyment. Stay alert for new threats and make cyber safety an ongoing conversation with your young gamer(s), as they should feel empowered to enjoy the gaming experience without becoming desensitized to it because of security concerns.

If your kids want to find their own solutions to any challenging parts of the games they are playing, you can support them to navigate the web safely by using Safe Search Kids. Using Safe Search Kids means that you don’t have to worry about your kids stumbling upon content that isn’t appropriate for them.

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Limits in Differential Calculus: Linking to Derivatives

Limits in Differential Calculus: Linking to Derivatives

In differential calculus, limits are like the building blocks of change that play an important role. It serves as a key to derivatives which is used to determine the rate of change in a function. Suppose you want to set a journey by using the car. The speed of a car is important to track down. Limits help us zoom in on the exact moment the car’s speed is changing.

This change of speed sets the stage for derivatives to step in and provide a precise description of that change.  As we explore limits on mathematics, we begin to understand that both limits and derivatives are duo concepts. These concepts help us to understand what happens to a function as we move close to a specific point.

On the other hand, derivatives help us understand the slope or rate of change at the exact point. Let’s move a little bit further to making calculus to understand all sorts of situations.

Introduction to Limits in Calculus:

In Calculus, limits are defined as:

“The indication of the values in which a function is approached as its given inputs at a specific point without reaching that point”

This concept helps you to understand all types of functions to show whether the points are near or far. It is a simple concept that the boundary of anything is their limit and in calculus, this limit tells how a function behaves near a point. The advanced limits calculator helps to determine the limits for the given functions and shows all steps. But if you come for manual calculations the below formula is used:

Lim x→a F(x) = L

  • The decreasing limits show that the negative function values
  • A positive limit tells that the function increases without any type of limit
  • In the equal limit, there are positive and negative both at the time

Why Limits Matter in Calculus

In calculus, we often encounter situations where we need to analyze the behavior of a function at a specific point or as it approaches infinity. Limits matter due to the fundamental concept of a better understanding of how functions behave. At the core of limit indications, it approaches the inputs as arbitrarily close to a certain value. This concept is understood as crucial for defining the main pillars of calculus like derivatives and integrals.

To lessen the difficulty for students, it allows the analysis more precisely, and now it has been used by worldwide students. Their values approach the x value to the numeric x. They help us grasp the continuity and smoothness of functions, enabling a deeper understanding of their properties.

Utilize Limit Calculator For Iterative Limits Approximation:

With the use of a limit calculator, we will be able to determine all types of limit problems and for manual calculations follow the below table.

Rule’s Expression
Sum/Difference Rule limx→b[f(x) ± h(x)] = limx→b[f(x)] ± limx→b[h(x)]
Constant Rule limx→b[k] = k
Product Rule limx→b[f(x) * h(x)] = limx→b[f(x)] * limx→b[h(x)]
Quotient Rule limx→b[f(x) / h(x)] = limx→b[f(x)] / limx→b[h(x)]
L’Hopital’s Rule limx→b[f(x) / h(x)] = limx→b[f'(x) /h(x)]
Power Rule limx→b[f(x)^n] = [limx→b[f(x)]]^n

How To Use The Limit Calculator

Input Data:

  • There are options like an equation or for a function, choose this one.
  • Set the variable that can be x, y, z, a, b, c, or n
  • Select the direction of the limit whether it is positive or negative
  • You can use the simple expression from the designated field, so place the number at which you want to calculate the limit.

Output Data:

  • Limits of a given function
  • Shows the Taylor’s series expansion for the given function
  • Complete stepwise calculations


At the end of this discussion, we have concluded that these methods have significant algorithms by which the iterative power to the limits has the roots of the functions with their increasing values. While limit calculation can be difficult for many students, a limit calculator can help to show the steps utilized to better understand the process for any calculation.

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Is Online Shopping Safe for Kids?

Is online shopping safe for kids?

Online shopping can be safe for kids with the proper knowledge and parental involvement. While there are some risks, you can take steps to protect your kids from them and minimize dangers before they appear. It’s essential to teach your kids how to shop safely, a skill that they will need in their adult years.

Here’s how to determine whether your child should be allowed to shop online and what safety measures you can implement to reduce the risks.

Should You Let Your Kids Shop Online?

As your kids get older, they’ll likely ask if they can order things online. While you don’t want to hand over your credit card with no limitations, there are benefits in allowing your kids to have some autonomy. It can teach them financial responsibility and practical skills from a young age.

As a parent, you can decide when your child is old enough to do some of their own shopping, but children under 15 should probably not be spending unsupervised. Teenagers may have various reasons to shop online, like purchasing items like books, school supplies, gifts for family and friends or clothes for special events, like school dances. If they have a job, they may also have items they’re saving up to buy.

While you should always verify that they are shopping from legitimate sources and not overspending, you can allow your older children to make the purchases themselves.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe When Online Shopping

While there are advantages, you shouldn’t let your kids have free rein to shop online as they please. Teach your kids to protect themselves from potential risks as they shop.

Teach Them to Protect Their Personal Information

All online shops require personal information like names, phone numbers and email addresses for payment and shipping. If you have kids younger than 13, have them come to you when they are ready to make a purchase. You can then double-check the site’s credibility and enter your details.

Warn Them About Scams

Teach your kids the dangers of buying toys or gear with steep discounts. If it looks too good to be true, it often is. A cheap price tag could mean that the toy does not meet U.S. safety standards and you want to protect your children from buying counterfeits or recalls.

Here are some other ways to identify scams and check for legitimate purchases:

  • Compare the product and price with other stores.
  • Read reviews. Use a fake review detector to ensure you have the correct information. In 2022, 50% of consumers reported seeing fake reviews, which shows the importance of double-checking before making a purchase.
  • Check for the lock icon or the ‘S’ in HTTPS in the URL. If the site has these, it means it’s secure.
  • If there’s bad grammar, an incomplete site or an odd URL, it could be a scam page.
  • Delete or show Mom and Dad emails with phrases like “click here” or “download now.”
  • If a site asks for you to subscribe or add something to your cart to make the purchase, it’s a scam.

Create an Authorized Shopping Site List

With hundreds of websites and online stores out there, it’s a good idea to have a list of stores that you use as a family. This system can prevent your kids from falling into scams or giving their information to the wrong people.

Encourage your kids to be open about any new online stores they find. Maybe there’s a site that sells their favorite squishmallows and they can’t find them anywhere else. Scan through the site together and tick the scam ID checklist together to help them practice.

Use Ad Blockers

Usually, online stores won’t ask for a person’s age when entering credit card info. That means your child can buy anything online if they have your card. It also means they’ll be exposed to ads for people of all ages.

Download ad blockers and web blockers that filter content that has alcohol or drug messaging, sexual content, inappropriate movies and violent messages. With a web blocker, you can be at peace knowing you reduced the chance of your kid encountering dangerous content.

Prevent Compulsive Buying and Accidental Purchases

Anyone who shops online knows that it’s easy to overfill your cart. With tempting sales and numerous options, “just one more” can quickly turn into a $1,000 cart. While you might have built immunity with experience, your kids are just starting out and they need guidance.

The best way to prevent this is to shop with your child. Show them how to look for items and review their cart. Double-check if the number of items is correct. Make the process slow. This will teach them to check twice before they buy and prevent double or accidental purchases.

You can also set some ground rules, like limiting browsing to 15-30 minutes a day and asking your permission before purchasing. This is an excellent time to improve their financial and budgeting skills. If you give them a monthly allowance, have them review and calculate purchases against their balance.

Have Rules for Shopping Locations

Agree with your kids that all online shopping happens at home. This strategy prevents them from entering personal information while connected to public Wi-Fi in public places like the airport or at school.

Get Kid-Safe Debit Cards

Protect your account from unexpected purchases by making a capped PayPal account for your kids or getting them kid-safe debit cards like Greenlight, GoHenry and Axos. These banking companies also provide resources and apps to build good money habits. Considering kids can form money habits from age 5, it will benefit your kids to learn how to manage their own cards.

Build Safe Online Shopping Habits With Your Kids

As with anything online, there are some risks that come with online shopping. It’s a good idea to provide supervision and safe space to teach your kids how to shop safely.

Cora Gold - Editor in ChiefAuthor bio:  Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She strives to live a happy and healthy life with her family by her side.
Follow Cora on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Digital Awareness for Kids: Nonprofit Programs Promoting Online Safety

The more technology advances, the more the digital space becomes dangerous, especially for unsuspecting kids and teenagers.  Social media apps and other online platforms are obviously supposed to be fun, educative, and informative. It is how we get entertainment, news, and trends, and connect with other people across the world.

However, it has also made phishing, scams, cyber predators, and cyberbullying easy. That is why cyber security for nonprofit programs are stepping up to address and promote digital awareness for kids and online safety.

Cybersecurity for Kids – Internet Dangers

We are living in a digital era where technology has taken over and continues to do so with every advancement and new development. Kids nowadays are being born and growing up with technology being a significant part of their lives.

From a small age, children can use different technologies like phones, tablets, and even laptops, which exposes them to the internet early and makes them vulnerable to online threats. Some of these poised dangers include;


This is one of the greatest cybersecurity concerns for kids and teens. Statistics report at least 50% of kids and teens have social anxiety due to cyberbullying, with a majority of them witnessing cyberbullying acts online.

This is mostly a concern to kids on social media and online games where they can easily be ridiculed and attacked by strangers online. The best way to protect kids from cyberbullying is by sitting them down and having conversations about it.

Discuss their activities online and what could possibly happen if they are not careful. It is also important that you teach them how to protect themselves against bullies and stand up to them.

Cyber Predators

We always teach our kids about stranger danger in real life; do not talk to strangers, do not go with strangers, do not accept sweets and other things from strangers, and so on. However, many times, we forget to give our kids the same education about online predators.

Predators know that kids hang out online more and have therefore taken advantage of it and made the internet their hunting ground. Internet stalkers can take advantage of unsupervised children, luring them into dangerous personal meetings.


A lot of us have been victims of phishing at some point in our lives. However, at least more adults should know better now, leaving kids and teenagers a primary target for these fraudsters and scammers.

How they work is that they disguise themselves as reputable entities/ companies/ organizations, and try to trick people into giving their sensitive and personal information such as usernames and passwords, through malicious emails and messages.

Because the messages and emails can often appear to be from legit people, like a family member, or reputable companies, it makes it difficult for kids to detect the scam, making them easily fall into the trap.

It is important to teach your kids to refrain from clicking suspicious links on messages and emails, no matter how legit they seem, and to always seek an adult’s guidance in case these messages pop up on their devices and they are not sure what to do.

The Role of Nonprofits in Promoting Digital Awareness and Online Safety for Kids and Cybersecurity for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to children’s online safety understand how scammers have become even more cunning, and how important it is to tighten cybersecurity for nonprofits and online safety for kids.

These organizations work tirelessly to raise awareness about the potential risks associated with online activities and provide resources and support to children and their caregivers to ensure internet safety.

Here are some ways nonprofits are promoting digital awareness and safety for kids;

Education and Awareness

Nonprofits are now collaborating with schools and other educational institutions to raise awareness about cyber-attacks, cyber threats, cyberbullying, and other cybersecurity concerns through various programs and initiatives.

They provide workshops and training about digital literacy and safety, which educate children and teenagers on how to recognize threats online, stay safe on the internet, and stand up for themselves to bullies and predators.

They also emphasize the importance of parental monitoring, and educating parents and caregivers on how to guide their kids on online activities.

Tools and Resources

It is important that nonprofits provide the tools and resources needed to keep children and parents in the know about cybersecurity. These tools may include mobile applications, websites, online forums with live Q&As, and more.

These resources should cover topics such as privacy settings, online etiquette, and recognizing and reporting cyberbullying, to not only promote online safety for children but also enhance cyber security for nonprofits.

Support and Helplines

Providing support and helplines is another important way for nonprofits to foster online security. These are safe havens where children and their parents or caregivers can seek assistance in case of online safety issues.

They can report incidents of cyberbullying, cyber attacks, and any other cyber security issues, and get the necessary support and help they need.

Online Safety Rules for Kids

Digital Awareness for Kids: Nonprofit Programs Promoting Online Safety

In fostering cybersecurity for nonprofits and online safety for kids and teenagers, there are some online safety rules to help kids stay safe on social media, gaming sites, and other online platforms and forums where they are most likely to experience cyber insecurities. Here are some tips;

Never share personal informationTeach your kids what personal information is and how to keep this information private. This may include their full names, physical addresses, school names, email addresses, phone numbers, and any other piece of information that may be used to identify them or against them, online or offline.

Always use a strong password – It is important for kids to understand that passwords and usernames are everything when it comes to online safety. It is one of the most important pieces of information that could give online predators access to their lives. Create strong and unique passwords and avoid easy-to-guess passwords like birthday dates and names.

Always keep social media accounts private – Make sure your kids’ social profiles are private so that not everybody can have access to their information. Only approved friends and family should be able to see their posts. Also, check their friends and follow requests, and teach them how to do some due diligence before accepting random strangers into their space.

Cyberbullying awareness – Children mostly fall prey to cyberbullying and online attacks because they are young, naive, and vulnerable. Predators and online bullies take advantage of their innocence and lack of knowledge and information to make them their victims. Cybersecurity education is important to ensure kids know what cyberbullying is and how to handle it. Encourage them to talk to an adult if they experience or witness any of it.

Use parental controls – Adult monitoring is the only sure way to protect kids online. Ensure you have access to your kids’ devices to monitor their phones and online activities. Check the social media apps they are using, who they are interacting with online, what they are posting, and pretty much every other little detail.

Note that being a spy is not necessary. Let them know that you will be monitoring their online activities and make them understand why it is necessary. Communication is key.


It is the duty of the community at large to ensure that kids are well-protected and that they are safe, both online and offline. Nonprofit programs that promote online safety for kids and cybersecurity for nonprofits are a great way to spread digital awareness.

These organizations provide the necessary education, tools, and resources, and offer support and helplines that help empower children to make informed decisions and protect themselves online.

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