School’s out! However, these youngsters still prefer to stay connected with their friends and classmates in school. Thus, it means more time being spent on their devices to keep up with the trends and chat with peers during summer. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean children can freely spend their time online without setting rules to keep them safe surfing the net during their summer vacation. Therefore, it’s essential to talk about social media and internet safety with kids and teens alike.
Have you ever had a talk with your children about online safety? If you haven’t, you should begin now. If you have, this summer is an excellent opportunity for you to highlight its importance once again. Having a conversation with your kids about internet safety concerns will make them aware of avoiding risky online behavior and habits.
Here are some vital online safety practices that parents or guardians should share with their children.
- Connect only with persons you know
This adage “don’t talk to strangers” holds in both real life and online. Online predators and stalkers create bogus profiles to keep their identities hidden. Teach your children to only engage with friends or peers they know in real life. In addition, check your children’s privacy settings to ensure that strangers will not be able to view their accounts.
- Be cautious about the things you post online
Inform your kids of a list of things they should never post or share online, such as their real name, birthdate, age, home address, mobile number, etc., and ensure they understand why they must keep this information private.
- Avoid sharing too much information
Various apps, networks, and devices include geotagging capabilities that broadcast your children’s whereabouts that helps lead stalkers directly to your children; make sure these functions are disabled. Likewise, advise them to avoid posting about joining events, parties, and activities on social media platforms where strangers can track them down.
- Disclose inappropriate behavior
Foster open communication lines between you and your children. Encourage them to come to you for advice when they encounter unbecoming behavior meant to threaten or harm them, or anyone else they know.
- Be careful when using webcams and mobile video devices
Teach your children to only share videos and use their webcams and mobile video devices when communicating with family members and trusted friends. Engaging in video chats, sharing videos with mere acquaintances or worse strangers makes your child vulnerable to online predators, cyberbullies, and other circumstances that inadvertently pose security risks.
At the heart of these online safety tips is Trend Micro Cares’ Internet Safety for Kids and Families initiative to empower parents and their children through raising awareness and education to develop smart online safety habits, especially on social media.
Digital Footprints and Setting Limits
Knowing your child’s digital footprint is part of being involved in raising your child to be a responsible digital citizen. Based on DQ Institute‘s Child Online Safety Index (COSI), which calculates a COSI score for each country ranging from 0 (worst child online safety) to 100 (best child online safety), the US has an overall COSI score of 51. Meaning, the US exhibits an average performance when it comes to a child’s online safety. Certain factors contribute to its mediocre performance, such as some of the key findings below.
Given the data above, it’s crucial to have conversations with your kids on things they can or cannot do on the Internet and the dangers and cyber threats that come with it.
Likewise, emphasizing setting limits or screen time and the benefits they can derive from practicing safe online habits proves essential.
- With less screen time and setting limits, we decrease the possibility of our children becoming targets of social predators.
- It teaches them to develop an essential life skill: the capacity to live within limits and tolerate setbacks or disappointments.
- It helps your kids cultivate self-discipline that despite knowing it’s summer, it doesn’t mean they can have excessive online access and screen time.
- It facilitates learning about time management, enabling your children to manage social media usage habits, which likewise aid in making sound choices regarding their digital footprint.
It helps when an app can prevent these digital footprint mishaps by blocking access to inappropriate content that your children can intentionally or unintentionally post or share on social media. Trend Micro Family for Kids does just that. With the use of AI, it blurs images with nudity, sex, or anime pornography. Aside from that, it monitors and blocks objectionable web content that falls under Mature Content, Prohibited Content, Pornography, Sexual, Nudity, Alcohol, Tobacco, Illegal, Gambling, Violence, Hate Racism, Weapons, Abortion, Drugs, and Marijuana.
Moreover, it can be paired with the Trend Micro Family for Parents app on your android and iOS phones so you can get more visibility on your child’s digital footprint. For instance, keywords your child searched online, keywords and channels of videos your child has viewed online and blocked videos based on the YouTube age-restricted or channel-restricted rules set in the Trend Micro Family app. Moreover, your child won’t be able to uninstall it easily as it notifies the parent or guardian that someone is attempting to remove the Chrome extension of Trend Micro Family for Kids.
Click the pictures below to download Trend Micro Family:
On a Final Note
Summer is not just fun and relaxation for your kids; as a parent, it is an excellent opportunity to spend time online alongside your children to create and strengthen an atmosphere of open communication. In this way, you can help them navigate the perils of online dangers and discuss how to prevent or address them. Additionally, you can teach your children about digital footprints, screen time, and setting limits on how these concepts relate to each other and affect them as digital citizens in this cyber world. Lastly, you can set up Trend Micro Family to keep your kid safe and free from the risks of inappropriate web content not only during summer but on the days to come.