Though the current generation is born into a society filled daily with electronics and relying entirely on the internet for information, we all take for granted how unsafe this online world can be. Do you know that 1 in 3 Malaysian kids are victims of cyber bullying? The scarier part is for every 1 case of cyber bullying there is 7.4 cases of fraud incidents and 3 cases of intrusions. A 2014 Malaysian survey shows that 83% of schoolchildren are vulnerable to online risks due to minimal protective actions taken and 50% of children are unsupervised when online, with close to 40% claiming they are not bound by any rules on safety.
While it may seem scary, we definitely cannot hide from internet and social media. So, let us beat the game with these smart tips on how to keep our kids safe online:
1. Monitor Electronic Use
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One of the best advice given by parents is making sure that all online use is at high traffic family areas so that the kids knows online activities is seen by all. Once there seem to be secretive behaviour around the computer or iPad, make sure to find out what is going on and speak openly about it.
2. Use Filters & Restrictions
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Majority of kids out there have no inkling of the dangers that lies beyond the computer screen so set up the kid safe filters and restrictions. Remember that these filters and restrictions can automatically reset during an update so double check and test the features each time an upgrade is done. Password restrictions are very useful as long as the passwords are lengthy, not predictable and kept far away from the little ones.
3. Set Boundaries
Take the time to sit down with your kids to discuss what they can and cannot do online. They need to have boundaries to protect themselves from what is lurking in the dangerous world wide web predators. Make sure that the discussion is serious and they understand completely what you have said. Show examples like the story of a 16 year old’s small party of friends and family when the invite was accidentally posted public and was gate crashed by 1600 people with 15,000 people “confirmed” to attend.
4. Choose The Social Media
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Select the social media medium you would allow for your kid. Start with one first to see how it goes and set it up together with your kid so you have a say on what information and photos are put up plus what privacy settings is best for them. Have a talk with them on warning signs to look out for and if possible, be a friend/follower of their account.
Scary as it may seem, there is loads to enjoy on the internet as a family. Remember to have good times with technology but to remain cautious at all times.
Do you think these tips will work for you and your family? What else have you done to help keep your family safe from online predators?