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Children’s Day Special: Navigating the Online Maze with your Child

Childrens Day CYSED safety internet tips

We are in a generation in which kids are adept at using the Internet. A decade ago, most 5-year-olds you came across most likely couldn’t operate a Nintendo or a mobile phone successfully. Now, we have a lot of “tech whiz” kids and smart Gen Zs roaming around and knowing how to use the Internet even better than their parents can.

Yes, we have very smart kids with high intelligence to handle all things Internet. But the growth in technology usage of these kids is directly proportional to the growth of technology usage, in both positive and negative ways.

Nowadays, information is passed in diverse ways and forms. Information that is not entirely sifted through, therefore making both positive and negative data coexist in the same cyberspace.

As a parent, navigating this maze can be overwhelming, especially for your child. But do not worry; this is a guide on how you can empower your child for a safe and positive online experience.

You Can’t keep Your Child from the Internet, but…

The online world isn’t going anywhere, and people of all ages will continue to use it. As a parent, you can’t possibly stop your young tech star from using the Internet and watching their favourite cartoons, but you can help them navigate it safely.

How could you possibly do that, you wonder? Let’s walk you through it.

1. Give them an early start

The first thing to understand, in a bid to keep your child safe from dangers online, is that they are not too young to learn about security and staying safe online. Discuss with them the basic online safety rules, like not sharing personal information and being cautious of strangers online, especially if they use social media.

Kick it a notch higher over time by introducing the importance of strong passwords and how they can be created. Introduce them to the complex stuff later on, like the telltale signs of an unsafe website, cyberbullying, online scams, and how they can manage their digital footprints.

2. Foster an environment where communication is allowed

Establish a foundation of trust and open communication with your child. Talk to them about what they already know about the Internet and their intentions for using it. This creates a safe space where they feel comfortable coming to you with questions or concerns whenever they come up, allowing you to have a clear view on what exactly they use the Internet for. Always use a positive and supportive approach to encourage open communication.

3. Help them strike a balance between screen and real-world connections

The Internet can be addictive, and excessive screen time can negatively impact the well-being of your child.  Work with your child to establish healthy screen time limits, allowing them to explore alternative activities, forge real-world connections, and encourage them to pursue offline hobbies.

4. Help them identify signs of cyberbullying and Cyber Grooming.

Unfortunately, as wonderful as the Internet is, it can also be a breeding ground for cyberbullying and other unwanted interactions. Educate your child on the signs of these unwanted interactions and what to do when they find themselves in the situation. Encourage them to report any suspicious activity to you or a trusted adult.

5. Ensure to help your kids set up their online account and Use Parental Controls

Utilize parental control features available on devices, browsers, and apps. These can help restrict access to inappropriate content and monitor your child’s online activities. Use the Family Link app for Android devices or Family Sharing on iOS to set up your kids devices.

Close Out!

By following these tips and utilizing the many educational resources available, you can empower your child to become a responsible and safe Internet user.  With a strong foundation of open communication, clear expectations, and consistent guidance, you can equip them to navigate the Internet with confidence and safety.

Happy Children’s Day to our amazing youngsters!