Internet safety is an important thing to teach your children in today’s world! From cyberbullying to non-age-appropriate content to identity theft and viruses, there are dangers lurking in many corners of the web. Here are some internet safety tips to help keep you and your family safe.
What is Internet Safety?
Internet safety refers to awareness and knowledge regarding your internet usage, personal information, and viruses or malware. Someone who is knowledgeable on internet safety knows how to protect themselves, their information, and their computer or device from the real dangers that exist on the web.
Why is Internet Safety Important?
Internet safety is important because it reduces the risk of downloading viruses, encountering scammers or predators, or viewing explicit content. It’s especially important to teach your children internet safety for several reasons. Here are a few of them.
- Keep safe from viruses. Soon after the internet was invented, viruses began to spread – and they’ve been evolving ever since. Viruses are rampant on some websites and apps, and you can even get them by clicking links in an email. Some viruses disrupt your search engines, while others can completely destroy your computer. Almost every virus can compromise valuable personal information.
- Keep safe from strangers who may wish harm on you. While most people are minding their own business online, some people prey on others in hopes of stealing money or worse. Online predators are especially dangerous for children. Predators often pretend to be other children or even young adults in similar age with similar likes and dislikes. Scammers may pretend to have a product or service for you, but they actually just want your payment information so they can steal money or infiltrate your accounts.
- Keep safe from inappropriate content. People of all ages want to avoid seeing unwanted, inappropriate content, but children especially need to avoid age-inappropriate internet content. Being knowledgeable about internet safety can help you shield your kids from explicit content and help your children know what to avoid as well.
Internet Safety Facts
These statistics offer some valuable insight into internet safety:
- 90% of children access the internet before age 10.
- 71% of children have unmonitored internet access.
- 70% of teens hide information from their parents.
- 93% of teens regularly use the internet.
- 82% of stalkers use the internet to gather information.
As you can see, there are lots of kids who are at risk of internet safety issues if they don’t know what to avoid. Here are some tips for keeping them safe, and keeping your own information safe as well.
7 Internet Safety Tips for 2021 & Beyond
Never Post Important Personal Information
One of the most important internet safety tips is to never post your personal information. While many social media platforms recommend posting information about yourself, it’s important to know what information can and can’t be shared. Sharing your first and middle name, for example, is safe, as long as you don’t post your last name. Only sharing your first and last name can also be safe, depending on the platform. Never post information like your full name, social security information, phone number, or address. Keep passwords and links to other social media platforms private, and only give your phone number out to trustworthy sites or individuals you know in person.
Don’t Reuse Passwords
Reusing passwords can lead to your information being compromised, as it’s easy for hackers to access your information across several platforms if you use the same password. Additionally, your password should be hard to figure out. It should be at least eight characters, with numbers, and lowercase and uppercase letters. It’s also helpful to include symbols. Don’t use your name or birthdate either!
Never Meet with Someone from the Internet in Private
It’s very easy to meet people online who seem like they’d make good friends in real life. This is applicable to both adults and kids, especially with online dating. Meeting with someone from the internet however can result with you meeting someone you weren’t expecting, or with your children accidentally coming into contact with a dangerous person. If you’re an adult online dating, double-check information and have a “safety net” established if you’re meeting someone in person. Meet in a safe public location, with plenty of onlookers and others knowledgeable of where you are. Teach your children that they must never meet with a stranger from the internet or tell them where they live.
Don’t Post Inappropriate Messages
Posting inappropriate messages can result in much difficulty for you in the future, and it can have serious consequences now. Inappropriate messages may include private pictures or videos, hate speech, negative language toward others, and even threats. These messages can have serious negative consequences, such as losing job positions and even involvement from police. Make sure that your children know what is and isn’t appropriate to post, and monitor their posts accordingly.
Don’t Download Strange or Unrecognizable Software
When looking for the right app or link to download, it can be easy to click or download the wrong file. Some apps and downloadable content lead to viruses or malware being downloaded onto your device. These viruses and malware can compromise sensitive information, including credit card information, emails, and passwords. If you don’t recognize the name of the file or if it has a strange, sketchy title, don’t even click on it. Also, only buy things from trusted and established websites.
Educate Your Kids on Internet Safety
Your children don’t have innate internet knowledge, and they need to be taught what is and isn’t safe. Just like we are taught about stranger danger, we need to be educated on internet safety. Sit down with your kids and teach them what is and isn’t safe. Let them know that if they ever feel uncomfortable on the internet, that they can come to you right away.
Don’t Open Strange Messages
Strange, unwanted messages can be either a predator or a hacked account. Either of these can be detrimental to both your information and your device’s safety. Don’t ever open a private message or email that you don’t recognize!
Stay Safe on the Internet
Maintaining your family’s safety requires internet safety awareness. Help your children avoid negative, unsafe encounters and keep your computer and devices safe from viruses and malware. Your internet experience should be fun while still being safe! Nomad Internet gives you an internet connection wherever your life takes you. Get started today!