No thanks to the pandemic, our kids are spending more time online, making them more susceptible to cyberbullying, phishing and more… here’s what you can do
Kids have been spending more time online these days, causing parents worldwide to think twice about kids’ online safety. It’s only natural for us to worry, especially with all that we know that creeps around the interwebs. And because of the pandemic, there’s been a rise in cyberbullying, phishing, catfishing and worse, online grooming. It’s a scary thought but it’s a reality that we’re facing.
Teaching our kids to take extra precautions when it comes to online safety is very important, especially in 2021 where all learning is one online. Although it can be a challenge — especially for tweens and teens who are super private about their online presence, it’s our duty to take charge and step up to keep our kids safe online.
Here’s what the experts at Google have to say about online safety for kids and what parents need to do ASAP:
1. Protect their digital identities
In a survey conducted by Google’s Trust Research team, parents all over Asia-Pacific said that the privacy and security of their children’s information was their top concern. So how do we safeguard their information online?
- Teach them to choose strong passwords that can’t be easily guessed.
- Insist they stick to platforms with a strong reputation for user safety.
2. Know who they talk to
Because our kids can’t get out and are stuck doing school via Zoom or Google Classroom, the only way they can connect with their friends is online. Whether it’s through messaging apps or voice chat while playing games — we should be wary that they could be speaking to strangers with bad intentions. So what should parents do?
- Talk to your kids about the games they play or the videos they watch, and also the people they speak to online. Remind them that you’re there for them if they need to ask you any questions about online safety. It’s important for them to know that they can talk to you if they feel uncomfortable.
- Be more discerning with your kids’ video games. Try to limit games that allow interactions with multiple players, which could prevent the risk of unwanted social interactions.
3. Encourage age appropriate content
Worried that your kids might be accessing inappropriate content? Read up on the safety features of all the platforms you’re using. Chances are, you might not even be aware of these features! The parental controls on YouTube Kids, SafeSearch on Google and creating a Google account with Family link could make all the difference.
The more we know about online safety, the better we can protect our kids from the dangers that lurk online. And trust us, speaking to our kids regularly about online safety will also make a whole lot of difference.