These days, kids start to learn how to use computers and devices at a very young age. And before you know it, your little one will be using the internet to connect with friends they met at school.
While it’s great to know that your children can talk to their friends online, particularly if those are children that you have met in person, you might be a bit worried about your kids meeting and talking to strangers online. And that is a totally valid concern!
What are some safety strategies that you can easily implement right at home to help keep your children safe when they are surfing the World Wide Web and talking to others online? We’ve compiled a few tips below to help you get started.
First Off, Teach Your Kids About the Dangers of Talking to Strangers
You probably already taught your kids not to talk to strangers in person, right? For example, you might tell them to stay away from strangers while they are at school or while they are outside playing with their friends. But what about their interactions with other people on the internet? Have you addressed the fact that they should also beware of strangers online? If you haven’t yet done that, it is probably time to do it.
Even if your kids are still quite young, if they are using the internet to interact with others, such as through gaming apps, it is a good idea to let them know about the risks. Adults might be posing as children on the websites and platforms that your kids use, and they might be waiting to trick your kids into giving away personal information. So, ask your kids about the people they interact with, and teach them that they aren’t allowed to share private and personal information about themselves and their family.
Run Background Checks on People Your Kids Talk To
Using a people search website is another step you can take to rest assured that you really know who your kids are interacting with on the internet.
You can head to Nuwber to type in a person’s name, address, or phone number and gather information about them that includes things like police records, lawsuits, property records, and contact details. This can shed light on whether someone who is talking to your child is being honest about who they are, or if they are lying because they’re a con artist.
Set Parental Controls
Another way to keep your kids safe online is by setting strong parental controls that help prevent access to websites and apps that could potentially be dangerous for your children by putting them in contact with people they shouldn’t be talking to.
Carefully go through the various parental control options that are available to you, and set them as you see fit. Combined with good antivirus and security software, this simple step can help you rest assured that your kids will use the internet in a manner that will help keep them safe from strangers.
Encourage Your Kids to Talk to You
Finally, encouraging your kids to communicate and be honest with you is yet another step you can take when you want to stay on top of who they’re friends with online. The more they feel comfortable talking to you and coming to you with questions or concerns, the better.