The birth of computers for domestic use, gradually seeped into everyone’s homes, schools and libraries across America as the advantages of having such an advanced piece of technology seemed to outweigh any known risks. With just a few decades of technology under our belts, the dangers have become more prominent in the media, and although we may consider ourselves as parents to be quite savvy in avoiding the digital world’s pitfalls, the kids may not possess the sense of awareness you have. This could make them vulnerable to digital world dangers. Which is why the pointers below highlight some of the risks and benefits to help keep them safe and informed in the virtual world.
Educate About Risks
You could begin by sitting them down to have a chat, maybe using your own PC/laptop/phone as an example to make the experience more interactive and walk through some of the dangers and solutions on the internet. However, use a bit of discretion to work out what’s age appropriate.
- Spam email – Encourage kids not to give out their email at every opportunity and to limit it to close family and friends only, otherwise they may receive an influx of spam. Explain the difference between genuine and spam emails. For instance, opening and toying with spam email could allow viruses on to their computer or phone, causing it to stop functioning.
- Cyberbullying – Showing them how to block/ban other people who are harassing or insulting them online is essential. Use the prevent cyberbullying extract from the government website for more information on this subject.
- Social Media – Explain why it’s best to limit your personal info and pictures online and not to entertain friend requests or private messages from people they do not know.
- Private Information – Encourage your children to keep their passwords in a safe place, and only share with you if they want to. Explain this will stop people gaining access to/controlling their accounts.
Educate About Benefits
Alongside a whole host of danger technology brings, there is also a long list of benefits that kids could use to their advantage.
- Safety – Encourage your kids to look after their technology as one day they might need it to look after them. Phones, for example, could be a handy tool if they’re in danger, allowing them to call you or emergency services. Which is why every effort should be made to look after their technology and treat it with respect. Such as buying a protective phone case, phone stands to prevent dropping it when they’re trying to watch a Youtube video, screen protectors, laptop cases and so forth. To survey the top 10 stands for cell phones, the best phone cases, and screen protectors, there’s an abundance of protective equipment you can order online.
- Knowledge and skills – A distinct point of children having technology is the world of knowledge it opens up to your children. Also using technology is advantageous in helping them to build computer skills, which are no longer desirable but essential in most jobs today.
- Connecting – Using the internet can be a good way for kids to keep connected with friends and family, it can also be a way of you connecting with your children, such as playing co-op games together or watching funny Youtube videos.
As a parent, your worries are no longer limited to looking after your children in the real world but are extended to looking after them in the digital world too. By using the tips above to educate them on the risks, you can help them avoid technology/internet pitfalls and be cautious of danger..
This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.