The Internet brings the world to your fingertips. However, this world is nary a simple one as the ease of access to entertainment and information is fraught with increasing risks.
While researching for schoolwork on the Internet, children may unwittingly run into sites that are not too legit; while left to indulge in their favourite multi-player games, young kids may not be able to discern if people they befriend in the virtual world are actually sincere.
Research has shown that 12% of teenagers have arranged offline meeting with strangers they met online and up to 23.3% have experienced cyber-bullying^. As a parent, you can help your children use the Internet safely by teaching them some basic rules.
Teach your children about cyber bullying Let your children know about cyber-bullying and its consequences. If they think they’re being cyber-bullied, they should inform you right away. It’s also important to encourage your children to communicate with other people online in the same way they would face to-face. They should always treat other people the way they would prefer to be treated.
Monitor your children’s use of the Internet Place computers in a high-traffic family area so that you can monitor your children’s online activity. This can prevent them from accessing undesirable websites.
Warn your children about expressing emotions to strangers Even if your children do not communicate directly to strangers, they might still be vulnerable to prying individuals. Explain to your children that expressing their emotions on publicly accessible websites might attract the attention of strangers who seek emotionally vulnerable children.
Teach your children to ignore emails and instant messages from people they don’t know Educate your children to never open attachments or URL links sent by strangers. Ensure that instant messaging applications do not accept files automatically.
Make sure your children know how to protect themselves on social networking sites Enable privacy settings on sites where your children have a tendency to share personal information. This is to avoid strangers from prying on their profiles. Teach them to safeguard their passwords and personal information.
Prevent your children from shopping online without informing you You’d be surprised how quickly children can memorize your debit and credit card numbers. If your children absolutely need to shop online, be the one to enter any financial and credit card information.
Fortify your computer with strong security software Be sure to use strong security software and take time to learn how to use the controls.
KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE ONLINE, WHEREVER YOU ARE
“But my kids can still fall prey to online threats once out of my watchful eye,” you say. That is why parent control tools play an important role, in addition to safety rules.
For the most complete way to keep your children safe online, use SingTel Family Protection. You can filter content, block selected sites, use age-appropriate settings and more to provide your family with a safe online environment to learn, play and explore. Watch this video to find out more:
To sign up, visit any SingTel Shop and speak to our friendly sales staff today!