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How to take advantage of the internet with children and reduce risks? It is the question that we usually ask ourselves as fathers and mothers. We know that the internet is an excellent source of information to learn, discover, enjoy and play, but it must be used with caution to avoid risks for the little ones in the house. 

In this guide, we give you some tips for teaching internet responsibility to children so that they learn and enjoy it without danger.

In this guide, we give you some tips for teaching internet responsibility to children so that they learn and enjoy it without danger.

Risks from the use of the internet by children:

The significant development of the internet and smartphones has created a ‘before and after in how we communicate, look for information, or learn about our sons and daughters. But it has also given rise to a series of risks, such as cyberbullying and other malicious practices. So, it is necessary to know how to keep children protected.

In the first place, parents must know the risks that exist in the online world for kids. We can highlight the following:

  • Suffer blackmail or threats.
  • Overshare personal photos and videos.
  • Access information is not suitable for minors. For example, they can be images of violence, pornography, or gambling.
  • Contact dangerous people.
  • Being bullied or bullying other children.
  • Make purchases online without knowing the risks.
  • Participate in dangerous viral games and challenges.

Teaching Internet Responsibility to Children

Making the internet safe for children is everyone’s job. As fathers and mothers, we have the essential role of ensuring the protection of our offspring, and we can take measures such as the ones we propose below:

1. Do not share information about your children: 

One of the essential measures to protect kids is not to create profiles on social networks and not to share personal data and photos of them with any unknown person. You can check strangers’ details on Nuwber before accepting someone’s friend request on a social platform. That will ensure that you know all the people you share family details with and there aren’t any outsiders.

2. Help them differentiate between friends and acquaintances: 

We all know that many of the hundreds of people we can contact on social networks are not friends. It is essential to teach children the difference to know how to protect themselves from people with bad intentions. It is essential that they learn not to accept invitations from people they do not know or who offer something in return.

3. Encourage good behavior on the internet: 

With the pandemic, many boys and girls have attended a class by videoconference, so you must help them to establish good behavior, to act with kindness towards others, to have a good posture, and not interrupt other people while they speak.

4. Maintain good communication with your kids: 

You should talk to them, make them feel comfortable discussing their concerns with you, and create times to share what bothers them so that if a problem arises, they have the confidence to tell you about it. Don’t let them be afraid to ask you for help if needed.

5. Share time on the internet with your children: 

Another good option is to surf the internet together with your children while you are online so that they can see how you act and how you protect yourself so that they do the same. Teach them to recognize false information or people with bad intentions.

6. Apply protection measures: 

Parents can apply measures to achieve a safe internet environment for children. You can install antivirus and parental control for safe searches (you’ll find it in Google’s settings, for example), teach them to use the free educational information that exists on the net wisely, cover the computer’s camera, and periodically check the computer privacy settings so that third parties cannot collect private data. 

You can also check the search history to know the websites and pages your children visit. Another additional protection measure is to create different profiles to access the computer so that kids only use a limited number of applications and programs.

7. Boost your fun safely: 

The internet should also be a place of fun for youngsters, and that fun must be safe to avoid dangerous games or viral challenges. We have all seen the news that these challenges can cause severe damage. Help your children, teach them to recognize safe games, and let you know immediately if they see something strange.

8. Limit the time of internet use: 

Children are not recommended to spend too much time glued to a computer screen or mobile phone. Limit the time they spend on the internet and encourage them to play and interact with other children their age in real life. Another good option is to put the computer in a place where the family spends most of their time, for example, in the living room, so that you can see, from time to time, what they are surfing on the internet.

​9. Get an update: 

The current internet network is nothing like the one that existed a few years ago and will continue to evolve so that the risks may change. It’s essential to stay up-to-date to protect your kids, so check the latest information and updates and teach your children how to protect themselves from new dangers as they arise.

10. Do not forget that you are their reference: 

Boys and girls copy the behavior of their fathers and mothers, so if they see you protecting yourself on the internet, they will too.

Teaching Internet Responsibility to Children

In short, children must know how to act if a problem puts them at risk on the internet and, above all, have the confidence to notify their parents and take measures to ensure that the internet is safe for children.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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