As your kids grow, they become internet savvy and want to explore more of what the internet world has to offer. Kids use internet connected devices to communicate as well as study. As such, the internet is a vital resource in a child’s life in school, at home, and many other places they spend their free time. Parents, however, can’t teach them all of the new trends, but they can teach the fundamentals of staying private and secure online.
With children spending long hours on the net, they are a soft spot for online attacks, and parents have a right to worry about their safety on the web. For instance, you check your child’s computer, and you find virus and malware vulnerabilities. Pop-up their browser history and you will discover that they are already being manipulated by inappropriate content, scams, and frauds.
6 Healthy Online Habits for Parents
By embracing the best online security and privacy habits personally, you are in a better position to train and protect your children from inappropriate content, contact, and conduct while on the web.
Secure your communications
You’re an example for your kids. As a parent, your children having a safe online experience starts with you having a safe online experience. This means always ensuring your computer or whichever device you use to access the web is completely secure from online vulnerabilities.
Ensure your passwords are always strong enough to deny intruders’ access to your password-protected accounts and data. For this, we recommend using a password manager. Also, secure your conversations by installing secure messaging and encrypted email apps.
Use of VPN
81% of parents are concerned about the vast amount of data that advertisers can gather about their children’s online behavior; something that online enterprises have built booming businesses around. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that safely and privately lets you access the internet by routing your connection through a server that hides your online activities. By masking your IP address, a VPN ensures that nobody can trace your online activities.
When using a VPN like Surfshark, it’s the VPN server location that is seen instead of your computer’s location. This makes it difficult for anyone trying to monitor you, to trace your location.
Another reason to have a VPN is its encryption capabilities. Data is encrypted into the VPN servers, and therefore cannot be intercepted even when you access the internet through public networks.
What is more, VPN services are available for most of your home gadgets, from your desktops to laptops and even mobile phones. So you can secure your child from whichever device they use to access the net, including Smartphones that they never seem to keep down.
Keep your software up-to-date
It’s no secret that software updates are the easiest to skip. They tend to pop up at the most inopportune moments, usually take up time that most people find inconveniencing, and they don’t even seem that important.
Well, this is far from the truth. Software updates are pretty important since they often include critical patches to security holes. Without such updates, hackers can easily access your data, and the results can be dire.
Software updates guard your device against harmful malware. In addition, they improve your gadgets capabilities by introducing new and improved features.
Not only does up-to-date software ensure that you are safe online, but also enhances your user experience.
While regularly checking for software updates can be easy to forget, setting up auto-update on your smartphones and other gadgets can be helpful.
Avoid unsecured WiFi networks
Public WiFi networks are almost everywhere. Especially in popular public places like airports, shopping malls, coffee shops, and even hotels. It’s hard to miss them if your device is free to connect to any available hotspot.
While their convenience is great, public WiFi networks come with several shortcomings. Most are not secure enough to browse with. Lack of encryption makes it easy for anyone with minimal IT expertise to hack your internet connected device and access sensitive data.
Avoiding unsecured WiFi is a viable solution, but sometimes this is not practical. The best way to stay safe on public WiFi networks is to use VPN software that can guarantee you and your children online security and privacy.
Yes, it’s definitely tough not to share that cute picture of your baby. The thing is, everything you do online will sooner or later become public. Although the line between ‘sharing’ and ‘oversharing’ is complicated, every time you want to post something, stop and think for a while: can it affect you or your children in any way in the future?
Keep in mind, that criminals are tens of times more creative when it comes to using your personal information for malicious purposes. Also, by not sharing every detail of your life online, you will educate your kids to do the same.
Remember – it’s all about balance
Last but not least. A healthy balance of guiding and controlling your children is a must. Chances are, your kids will make mistakes, but sometimes they are necessary for their growth. If your kid comes to you asking for help after they did some silly thing online, use it as a great teachable moment. Thus, you create an understanding environment so they won’t feel frightened to approach you in the future.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set a few house rules and consequences for breaking them. This can teach your kids responsibility and critical thinking.
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