Tip #1: Location mattersMake sure your kids use a PC or smartphone in a place where you can see them. This way, you can have a casual peek at what they are watching and typing once in a while. For example, parents can be cooking dinner while unobtrusively keeping tabs on their sons or daughters’ online activity. This isn’t about shoulder surfing; this is about taking reasonable precautions. Surveys say nearly 20% of parents have seen their children doing inappropriate things on the Internet. What’s even more disconcerting is that a whopping 60% of parents say they aren’t really aware of what their children are doing online.
Tip #2: Keep abreast of socialTo begin with, get all of your child’s authentication details for social networks. Enforce a rule that if they want an account they’ll need to share their usernames and passwords with you. Furthermore, add them to your friend's list, follow them and keep track of what’s happening in their social circles. Some children may write offensive comments or upload photos that don’t belong on a social network. Monitoring these things makes it easier to prevent and sort out such scenarios.
Tip #3: Sharing isn’t as innocuous as it may appearTell your kids that all information they post online composes their digital footprint and stays there, no matter if their profile is publicly accessible or private. Many children tend to overshare about themselves and their family, so parents should emphasize what a slippery slope it can be. There are criminals out there conducting OSINT (open-source intelligence) on social networks to perpetrate various frauds, so it’s certainly a bad idea to let your kids give away too many personal details.
Tip #4: Be proactiveThis is of huge importance. Use parental control software to prevent things from getting out of hand. There are plenty of free and commercial versions of these tools to choose from. Parental control software keeps track of your kid’s whereabouts, makes it easy for you to restrict the amount of time they spend on the Internet and provides an effective way to ensure they steer clear of unwanted websites. If your child really wants to visit a certain site, the application can be used to send you a message with the appropriate request. Additionally, you can submit special messages that lock your kid’s device or specific apps and won’t unfreeze it until they send a response. Such software also allows you to whitelist apps. All in all, an effective parental control tool is a one-stop solution, giving you sufficient privileges on all of your child’s devices to take no chances in terms of their safety online. Monitoring and limiting what your kids do in cyberspace is completely normal in today’s world.
Tip #5: Educate and rewardDon’t underestimate the power of teaching. Talk to your kids about the basics of online security, placing particular stress on the common pitfalls such as social engineering and cyberstalking. When you give them a new device, explain how to use it properly first. Finally, be sure to reward their progress as they learn.
About the Author: David Balaban is a security guru sharing his profound expertise with Vpn-Review.com. He is committed to analyzing malware in depth, protecting privacy online, evaluating software, and staying on top of modern cybercrime trends. David has more than a decade of experience in these areas and thinks outside the box when it comes to security. Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author article are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.