Where on one hand growing up a toddler often brings sweat even in chilly weather; on the other hand, policing teens online makes parents go unnerved! Yet, it is an essential part of parenting teen kids and you have no other choice but to take care of your child’s online safety.
Below are top cyber safety tips for your teen kid.
#1 Check your child’s presence on social networking sites
This is one of the areas where kids sacrifice their safety the most. Kids often publish their pictures, give away personal information, and don’t take any care of privacy settings. This makes checking your child’s presence on the social networking sites exceptionally important. If you’re already not on any of these sites popular with the teens, create your place soon. Search your child on these sites without adding her on your friend-list to check if your child really follows the privacy settings or not. Explain the importance of the privacy settings to her.
#2 Stay aware of your child’s email accounts and screen names
Checking your child’s email activities is equally important. You need to know who is mailing your child and who your child is mailing to. Make sure your child’s email program has proper filtering for spams and the mails from unknown senders as they can sometimes be from online sexual predators. Also check for your child’s screen names and ask her not to choose too saucy a name that catches more attention from strangers from forums and online sites.
#3 Watch your child’s Internet use late at nights
As far as possible, don’t allow your child to access the Internet late at night. This can lead to several issues starting from bullies bothering your child to predators trying to get too intimate with her. This, of course, has other troubles like sleep disorder, interruption in studies and so on. Take a switch-your-cell-phone-before-you-sleep approach and make sure everyone in your family is switching off the phone before hitting the sack. This will make it easier to stop your child from accessing Internet late at night as kids often use their cell phones in place of computer or laptops.
#4 Check other places where your child may access the Internet
Teens are smart. They know parents can watch them when they use the home pc for accessing the Internet. So, they don’t use any of the for-everyone-in-the-family kind of gadgets or equipment for accessing the Internet, as this can open up their secrets. Most kids use their cell phones or smart devices for Internet usage. Apart from exclusively personal equipment or gadget, they prefer using the computers at cyber cafés, local libraries, and friends’ houses. Talk to your child’s friend’s parents and the nearby cyber cafés and libraries regarding online threats, so that these places are safe for your child.
#5 Don’t allow cell phone with 24/7 Internet connection
With easier access to the Internet through cell phones and smart devices, most kids now prefer using their cell phones for getting online. If you’ve got your child such a device, make sure it doesn’t offer Internet connectivity 24/7 or at least has limited data usage.
#6 Parental monitor your child’s devices to check to have the big picture
By parental monitoring your child’s devices, you’ll have a clearer picture of what your child is doing with them. This will make it easier to keep an eye on your child’s Internet activities. You’ll know what sites your child visits, mails that hit your child’s email box and the ones she sends out, and all the cell phone activities like calls made and received, text messages both incoming and outgoing, and all the other aspects of cell phone communication. Using a special app for the purpose will even let you block the sites that you find offensive or unfit for kids.