Shielding your Kids from Internet Dangers

The internet can prove to be a very useful tool for children. It contains a wealth of information, can allow easy access for children to submit take-home assignments, converse with teachers, and watch entertaining content.
 
However, despite the vast amount of utility the internet provides for kids, it comes with certain dangers. Children can be exposed to risks such as privacy breaches, cyberstalkers, cyberbullies, and so on.
 
Internet Risks that Can Harm Children
1. Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying is the act of threatening or spreading malicious messages about a person. Sometimes bullies can target other children on social media networks to spam their inboxes and harass them.
 
Cyberbullying can sometimes be worse than physical bullying. Even though it mostly affects a child emotionally rather than physically, it could be hard to finger suspect. Some bullies like to keep themselves anonymous. Also, there are little to no authorities on the internet that can spot bullying before it happens.
 
2. Cyberstalking
Cyberstalking is typically perpetrated by online predators. These predators use platforms that are popular with kids such as social media and gaming chat rooms. They mislead the children into believing that they’re the same age and try to lure them into physical meetings.
 
3. Internet Scams
Although adults are the most likely targets for scams, children can also be susceptible to them. The most usual scams targeting children are those that claim the winning of gifts or are selling highly valued items for a ridiculously low price.
 
Children believe claims easily and can fall victim to hacks facilitated by public Wi-Fi hackers too. The simple act of connecting to free Wi-Fi can expose a lot of information on a person’s device.
 
Ways to Protect your Child from these Dangers
1. Preventing cyberbullying
The first and most obvious solution to preventing cyberbullying is by ensuring your child understands what it is and its relationship to social media. Educate your child on how social media can be a common platform for cyberbullying to happen. 
 
If your child has social media profiles, ask them to tell you about cyberbullying instances. Also, teach your kid how to use the report buttons rather than engaging in the bully. Bullies typically get encouraged when they find victims that respond to them.
 
2. Teach your child about privacy
Your child needs to understand that actions performed over the internet can have real-life consequences. One of such actions is giving strangers information about their personal lives. 
 
Instruct your child never to share any form of personal information online. Their photos and location should never be sent to any stranger too. If they feel like discussing any topics with online friends, only general topics like games, funny videos, and so on should be talked about.
 
3. Get a VPN for your family
A virtual private network can protect the identity of your kids online. VPNs create a secure tunnel to encrypt your information and activities, preventing spies and hackers from snooping.
 
Online predators may lure children into clicking links that reveal the device’s IP address. IP addresses reveal users’ personal information such as physical location. A VPN replaces your IP address with that of the server, ensuring that your actual location is private. 
 
VPNs also protect children when they connect to public networks. Children are eager to save data and connect to public Wi-Fi. However, these networks are not always safe and can lead to the interception of information. Downloading a VPN app on your child’s device will ensure the safety of your kid’s online activity.
 
Final Thoughts
The world today requires the use of the internet and children of this generation increasingly use the web for different tasks. While using the internet there’s a high chance of coming across cyberbullies, internet predators, and privacy hackers.
 
To prevent the above risks, you need to take major steps. First, teach your child how to deal with cyberbullies. Second, explain the importance of privacy to your child. Third, get a VPN for the family.

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