Guest Post by Chris San Filippo
Your children are going to access the internet. That is a fact of life in today’s digital world. Schools are teaching children via the internet. They have computers in their school libraries. When your child goes to play at a friend’s house, they are going to access the internet. You can’t keep your child away from the web. But you can ensure that they access the web safely, and that their online behavior doesn’t lead them into trouble. There are a variety of different online dangers these days, especially for children. There are predators who want to lure your child to a meeting offline. There is cyberbullying. There are phishing emails. There is malware. You have to be aware of all of these threats and prepared to help your child learn how to avoid them. Fortunately, you can instill good habits in your child from an early age so that they can grow up knowing what to avoid online and how to stay safe.
Make Sure Your Children Know What Safe Internet Use Is
Children don’t automatically know what safe internet use is. They have to be taught. You must work with your child so that they understand what they need to avoid, and what kind of sites are ok and which are harmful. You should let your child know that being safe online means not giving up personal information like your address, phone number, social security number,or other personal contact information. Children can be more trusting than adults, and without guidance, they could give up personal information in a chatroom or on social media.
The Internet Threats You Need To Know
Are you aware of all of the potential threats online that your children may face? There are new threats each year, and you need to be knowledgeable of what is going on. There are identity thieves who try to steal children’s private personal data when they connect to public Wi-Fi. There is malware on certain websites that can damage devices and give hackers and third parties access to your child’s computer or smartphone. There are cyberbullies and online predators. Is your child aware of these threats, and do they know how to avoid them? Those are things you need to be teaching.
Every parent needs to think about what their child is doing online and how to maintain their safety. Creating rules early on helps, so children have a baseline of what to expect and where they should be going online. Children need to know what is off limits and what sites are acceptable. You should make sure that your children know that their passwords shouldn’t be simple enough that they could be guessed. They should know to sign out of their profiles when they are done using a public computer. And they should now to keep their profiles private so that they are only communicating with people that they know.
One way to keep your children safe online is the use of VPNs. What is a VPN? A VPN, or virtual private network, is a tool for creating secure connections. With a VPN, your child can connect to the web on public Wi-Fi without fear of their connection being compromised or putting their personal data at risk. A VPN will change your IP address and encrypt all information traveling across the connection. That way, your child can use the web and not have their online activities tracked by third parties. VPNs are safer than proxies and give their users more freedom over their use, which is why they are optimal for children trying to surf the web safely.
About the Author
Chris San Filippo is a part of the marketing team at Hotspot Shield, one of the top ranked VPNs in the world. Hotspot Shield has over 500 million downloads and has helped users from over 200 countries fight for net neutrality and against censorship. Chris’s work has helped Hotspot Shield earn features in publications like Forbes, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to his job with Hotspot Shield, Chris also blogs about web security, cryptocurrencies, and social media trends.