Everyone uses the Internet today. Whether it’s for research purposes, school work, social media, play games and even watch movies or television shows, people are hooked onto the Internet. And it’s not just the adults. Children of today hardly seem to play in the great outdoors. They would much rather hang out indoors with a mobile tablet or even a computer and use those as their entertainment. But as we all know, the Internet is a vast space and a lot of the material on it is not always child-friendly. There is a lot of dark stuff on the world wide web that definitely isn’t safe. The question is, how do parents keep their children safe in the online world? Let’s find out. The below tips should offer some assistance in making sure that no harm comes to your children while they wander through the Internet.
Dr. Jyoti Kapoor Madan, Senior Psychiatrist shares some tips on making the Internet safer and helping parents be more vigilant and attentive
The cyber world has a lot of positive attributes and avenues of learning and knowledge but it also comes with its own set of dangers. Children are a lot more susceptible than adults to the dangers of the internet. According to the recent Microsoft Digital Civility Index, teens reported much higher and frequent online risks than adults. The report also found that teens look to their parents to ensure their safety when using the Internet.
Dr. Jyoti Kapoor Madan, a Senior Psychiatrist, believes that parents do need to keep a vigilant eye on what their children look at in the cyber world. They should also watch for behavioral change caused due to emotional abuse online and must take preventive measures. Children do need to use the Internet for school work a lot of the time. She says that while giving them the best computer equipment, parents also need to make sure these are equipped with the best and proper safety measures as well.
A few tips to get started
Here are some tips recommended to make the cyber world experience a safe one for children.
Talk to children about the necessity of online safety
Start these kinds of discussions at an early age, when they are starting to use the Internet. Parents should check and be aware of their children becoming addicted to the internet.
Make sure all devices are safe and secure
When you allow your children to use any kind of computer equipment, ensure that the device cannot be misused. Do not give them full access to the device in terms of admin rights, install the latest version of the operating system, make sure it is updated regularly, check and update virus protection, enable privacy settings on websites and apps and also disable geolocation settings on all devices. Go to Windows settings > Update and security and update your settings.
Ensure that the device is password protected
Choose a password that is unique and only known to you. Things like birthdates and pets’ names are easy to decipher. Choose something a little more difficult. Passwords work best when they are alphanumeric and allow symbols as well. They don’t need to be complicated. Just something strong and easy to remember.
Monitor all social media usage
When it comes to social media accounts, do not let children sign up for any unless they are going to be monitored by a parent. Also, educate them on the importance of not adding anyone they do not know to their social media. Sharing personal information on social media platforms without privacy filters and security checks can also land your child in trouble. Parents should ensure their children do not use social media when angry, frustrated or overtly emotional.
Ensure no strange links are clicked on
Don’t allow them to click on suspicious links. A lot of these have hidden viruses, spyware, and malware that could leave the system vulnerable to hackers.
Use parental controls provided by Windows 10
Windows 10 parental controls help parents and children enjoy an open collaborative environment. It also helps protect your child online and sets good screen time habits. This further helps parents set limits for browsing time, while keeping a track of the child’s digital life with features such as activity tracking, find your child (by tracking the device location) and more.
Once parental controls are set, you can access detailed reports of their activity. There are options to restrict what kinds of applications they can use, what websites they can visit, and how much time they can spend on the computer and other Windows-based devices.
Windows 10, by default, offers options for families and parents to ensure children are protected when they are online. To turn on parental controls for your child, go to the Windows search bar, and type ‘family options’ and click on that options under settings. Create an account for your child, and enable parental controls.
For more information on safe online practices, please visit:
Information credit – Microsoft