In the digital age, it is a necessity for children to know how to safely navigate the Internet. Unfortunately, there is a myriad of online threats that can be daunting to children and parents alike. The following five strategies will help keep one's children safe from some common online dangers.
Limit Children's Time on Social Media
With many social media sites amassing hundreds of millions of users, it is almost a guarantee that children of all ages will have made an account. However, every day there are more and more instances of children developing social media addiction. For this reason, it is very important to limit a child's time on social media to a reasonable amount, for instance, 90 minutes per day.
Enable Parent Controls
No matter what device a child may use to browse the internet, there are always parental controls that can be set to limit what websites a child may have access to. This can prove extremely useful in helping children avoid adult-oriented websites, such as pornographic websites, that can oftentimes contain not only explicit content but also viruses.
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Inform Children not to Chat with Strangers
This may seem like an obvious one, but it is imperative that children be informed not to talk to strangers, even if the online stranger may seem like another child. Many child predators disguise their identity by posing as someone they are not. Imploring children to not talk to strangers online can greatly help in keeping a child safe from many kinds of physical or mental harm.
Install Anti-Virus Software
Even with parental controls on, there is still an abundance of malware and virus websites trying to lure people in, often with false promises of free content of some kind. Installing anti-virus software on a child's computer can significantly reduce the risk of a child accidentally downloading a virus or malware.
Inform Children that not everything they see on the Internet is real
Nowadays, children and teenagers are suffering from varying degrees of depression from comparing themselves to others they see online. It is critical to inform children that not everything they see online is real and that many of the images of others they see online are edited or changed, sometimes in dramatic ways, to make whoever posted the image seem much more interesting than they really are.
In summary, taking these five strategies into account can help children have a safe and healthy online experience.
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