What you need to know to ensure your children surf on the internet safely

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Digital media are part of everyday life for children and young people. The possibilities for entertainment, information, and exchange with other people are endless. However, this also includes knowledge about complex topics such as data protection and privacy. It is important that parents accompany their children in this process. The tips we will provide will increase your awareness.

1. Be a role model

Going online is a balancing act between fun and safety. It’s always a question of weighing up the opportunities and risks. When it comes to digital media, parents are important pioneers and act as role models. Show your child that your privacy is important to you and that you are also careful with your data and do not reveal too much about yourself on the Internet. This way your children will follow you and surf the internet safely.

2. Handling of data

In many cases, little attention is paid to data protection. If you want to be safer on the Internet and avoid unnecessary threats, you need to get to grips with it. Data protection is everyone’s business because not all personal information should be made accessible to countless people and companies via the Internet. Make your child aware of how to handle their own data responsibly. Encouraging your children to use a reliable Australia VPN will help protect your and your family’s data from people with bad intentions.

3. Set up profiles together

Many apps, such as Snapchat or TikTok, have their settings set to “public” by default. This means that personal details and content, such as photos and videos, can be viewed, shared, and commented on by everyone. Children and teens are very adept at using it, but they need adult support when setting up and adjusting profiles. Therefore, set up social media profiles together with your child. Restrict the settings so that not all details are publicly accessible.

If you allow your children to set up their own profiles, they may not be aware enough about the data they shouldn’t allow to set publicly and mark sensitive information publicly, which will play into the hands of people with bad intentions.

4. Cybergrooming – Beware of strangers!

On the Internet, people with dishonest intentions often have an easy game. Using false identities, adults repeatedly try to use children and young people for their sexual inclinations. Make your child aware that extreme caution is required when strangers make contact. Advise your child not to reveal anything private online, such as their full name, cell phone number, address, date of birth, hobbies or photos and videos. Also, point out to him or her the importance of being as restrictive as possible with privacy settings.

There are many games on the internet that can have a negative impact on children’s psychology. Your children should definitely stay away from these games. Although malicious people who produce such games that can be dangerous for the physical and mental development of children often tell children who play these games that they should not tell their parents about the game they are playing, conscious families can understand that their children have fallen into the web of malicious people. This is why it is so important to know where and how your child spends most of their time online.

5. Limit screen time

At any age, it makes sense to limit screen time for media consumption. Although parents have the final say, all family members should discuss usage times together. One option would be to set a daily or weekly time frame.

Child development experts say limiting screen time is a must. You should plan together the amount of time your child spends surfing the internet and strictly prevent your children from spending time on the internet outside of your planned hours.

6. Agree on common rules

Understandable rules and clear agreements help the child to move within a protected framework and to deal consciously with digital media. Depending on the child’s maturity, it is decided which activities with digital media are permitted and which should be postponed until later. 

Age recommendations for games, films, and apps help parents orient themselves. However, it would not be healthy to decide which games your child can play and which movies they can watch based solely on the age recommendations provided by the manufacturers. In your free time, do some research about the game your child is playing or the movie they want to watch, and if it does not pose a problem for their mental and physical development, then allow it.

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