Born as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004, today Safer Internet Day (opens in a new tab) has become a groundbreaking event in the field of digital security.
his mission? Promoting ways to browse the web safely – for example, using security software such as VPN services – while raising awareness of the biggest risks people face online.
In this year’s edition, the organizers wanted to examine the problems affecting the lives of children and teenagers on the Internet in order to make a positive change in this direction.
“The internet can be a dangerous place for anyone, especially children who are more vulnerable and vulnerable,” said Evan Smith, technical manager of one of the best proxy providers around, proxyrack. “Threats can range from disinformation, graphic content, and communication with strangers, so knowing how best to approach security is critical.”
Read on as she shares with us tips to help parents and teachers keep their children safe from the dangers of the digital world.
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1. Limit your child’s time online
Even though a huge part of many adults’ lives is online, it’s important for children to keep their digital activities to a minimum. As Smith explained to us, “By giving them just an hour or two a day, you can help reduce the risk of sleep deprivation or behavioral problems from relying on technology and devices.”
Security software can also help. For example, ExpressVPN offers its own router called Aircove, which allows parents to restrict connectivity for certain devices with the Group Device feature.
Some devices may also offer limits or time limits in their settings. For example, both iPhones and Android devices offer a feature that limits usage after a certain amount of time, so the effort you put into setting them up is worth it.
2. Set clear rules
As above, experts recommend setting limits for both devices and device usage time.
This can be beneficial for several reasons. First, it will reduce the risk of your child being exposed to online dangers. Children will also learn the importance of sharing devices with others. This last point is especially relevant if they use family iPads, laptops or smartphones.
3. Turn on Parental Controls and Privacy Controls
Parental controls and privacy controls are essential to protect children’s lives online. As Smith said, these are especially important because they can “help you feel more comfortable with what your children are accessing online.”
Such controls allow, for example, to restrict access to adult content. They also protect your children from unsafe sites and videos through both search engines and social media platforms.
Therefore, remember to always update your settings. Again, security software can be useful here. For example, the security packages offered by the best antivirus or VPN providers include a number of parental controls that give you even more control over your child’s internet use.
4. Have an open dialogue about online safety
Experts suggest that having open conversations about online risks may be the most effective way to keep children safe online.
“You want to avoid any mystery and build a trust that ensures they come to you with any worries,” Smith said.
This will reduce the chances of children hiding the problems they face online. It can also help parents and teachers adjust their strategies for the best results.
5. Follow their friends online
Finally, make sure you always know who he’s talking to online.
Younger generations are increasingly engaging with social media from an early age. These platforms are full of people who want to take advantage of such vulnerable users.
While discussing the dangers of talking to strangers is crucial, even if only online, you should also keep track of their online conversation and make sure they know how to report any issues if needed.