The Internet can be a magnificent resource for kids to conduct research for school, communicate with friends and family as well as play games. But the resource can also pose many hazards if not used properly. That’s why it’s important to be aware of what your kids see, hear and do on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves while online.
To help kids maximize the Internet’s benefits, while minimizing the risks, SecurityOrb.com provides the latest research, tips, and tools to assist with keeping kids safe while online.
Web safety, or online safety or Internet Safety, is the knowledge of maximizing the user’s personal safety and security risks to private information and property associated with using the internet, and the self-protection from computer crime in general.
Some Internet safety tips:
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Some tips to responding to cyberbullying:
- To keep others from using their email and Internet accounts, kids should never share Internet passwords with anyone other than parents, experts say.
- If children are harassed or bullied through instant messaging, help them use the “block” or “ban” feature to prevent the bully from contacting them.
- If a child keeps getting harassing emails, delete that email account and set up a new one. Remind your child to give the new email address only to family and a few trusted friends.
- Tell your child not to respond to rude or harassing emails, messages and postings. If the cyberbullying continues, call the police. Keep a record of the emails as proof
Malicious Software (Malware)
“Sexting” usually refers to the sharing of nude or semi-nude and sexually provocative photos via mobile phones, but it can happen on other devices and the Web too. First of all, research shows most teens don’t “sext.” And most of those who do experience no negative consequences. But for teens who do sext, there are both psychological and legal risks, especially if coercion is involved and the images wind up being distributed beyond their intended audience. Sexting is certainly not just a teen issue, but these tips are specifically for teens and parents of teens.
Internet Safety Laws
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a law created to protect the privacy of children under 13. The Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998 and took effect in April 2000. COPPA is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
It main purpose is to protect kids younger than 13 when engaged in online activities. It’s designed to keep anyone from getting a child’s personal information without a parent knowing about it and agreeing to it first.
COPPA requires websites to explain their privacy policies on the site and get parental consent before collecting or using a child’s personal information, such as a name, address, phone number, or Social Security number. The law also prohibits a site from requiring a child to provide more personal information than necessary to play a game or participate in a contest.
But even with this law, your kids’ best online protection is you. By talking to them about potential online dangers and monitoring their computer use, you’ll help them surf the Internet safely.
Internet Safety Tools for Parents
Many of these tools are designed to stop your young kids from meeting evil strangers and seeing forbidden sites (pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism/, malware). But they can also be customized to curtail the risky online behavior of your teenagers.
- K9 Web Protection – A free Internet filter and parental control software program for Windows or Mac.
- Net Nanny – Has very extensive parental controls, and is easy to configure. Also provides alerts and reporting on your child’s online activity should you need them.
- Norton Family – Enables web monitoring and blocking, time limits, social network monitoring and even search monitoring. Upgrading to Family Premier unlocks video monitoring, time summary and reporting features.
- Internet Filter Software Review – Not satisfied with the previous listed picks? TopTenReviews lists the best Internet filter software based on reviews, and provides a handy comparison chart between competing choices.
- Keep Your Child Safe Online – The first part of the PCMag feature tackles why you need parental controls installed in your child’s computer. Then it moves on to the meatier part: More than a dozen software suggestions that span from traditional parental control products to hard-ware-based protection to mobile control apps for teenagers who possess Internet-capable smartphones.