OnlineFreedom

Online Freedom or Online Security for Our Children?

Online Freedom or Online Security for Our Children?All parents want to create and maintain a perfectly safe, nurturing, and comfortable environment for their children and protect them against visible and hidden dangers. As kids of all ages have unlimited access to all kinds of Internet-connected gadgets, most adults have a hard time trying to keep risks at bay.

Cybercrime, cyber bullying and various factors that could compromise one’s reputation are some of the most alarming and incredibly common dangers that threaten the well being and the normal development of children of all ages. Most of them spend a couple of hours a day in front of their PCs, tablets, and laptops surfing the web to do their homework or to occupy their spare time in an enjoyable manner.

Does Proper Security Start Where Online Freedom Ends?

In other words, would it be possible for you to safeguard your children from online hazards without limiting their online freedom, impacting their personality, their methods of self-expression, and destroying your relationship with your youngest family members? The answer is yes. First of all, before allowing your kids to use Internet-connected devices, you should establish some ground rules, enabling them to avoid common threats. To get ready to face the unforeseen, you have to know what you may be dealing with.

1)      Cybercrime

Your child represents an easy target for financially motivated perpetrators. Cybercrime comes in many forms, including Trojan horses, spam emails and computer viruses. To minimize all these risks, it is advisable to invest in the most appropriate security suite. A plain antivirus program will never manage to offer you the complete protection that you need and deserve. You will also require a firewall and effective antispyware.

Secure your home network by opting for a strong password. Teach your kids not to click on links or open emails coming from suspicious sources. Make sure their devices and accounts are password protected. Most importantly, talk to your kids openly and tell them to alert you immediately if they make a mistake. Most kids are tech savvy enough to realize that they have exposed themselves to considerable risks by downloading a file or sharing personal info with a total stranger, but they will always hesitate to admit their mishap in front of an adult.

2)      Cyber bullying 

Recent statistics reveal the fact that approximately 20% of all kids who go online on a regular basis receive insulting, hateful or harassing messages not from perfect strangers, but from people whom they actually know. Fortunately, this threat is easier to prevent, by promoting kindness and civility in online communities and teaching your children to report any cyber bullying attempt as soon as possible. There are a few excellent resources, including http://www.cyberbullying.us/ and http://www.stopbullying.gov/ that help parents adopt the best attitude and deal with this problem in an effective manner.

3)      Factors That Could Affect the Online Reputation of Your Child

To avoid major threats that could affect the reputation and even the future of your child, like sexting for instance, you have to act fast and implement a few basic preventive measures:

  1. Make sure your child uses modern technology for legitimate purposes
  2. Use parental control settings available for all kinds of gadgets that your children may use, including laptops, tablets, gaming devices and phones
  3. If your children are already active on social networking websites, make sure they know how to use security/privacy settings to limit the access to their posts and personal information.

All these strategies are very efficient and will get you one step closer to the desirable results. To keep your loves ones safe, don’t forget that is essential to establish and maintain a solid relationship and a flawless communication with your youngsters, who are most exposed to a wide range of cyber threats.