There are a number of threats online that children may encounter and while there are various parental controls and other technology solutions out there, children who are tech-savvy often find ways to get around the protection you put in place if it gets them what they want in a faster way.
kids need to take online safety seriously

Regardless of what protections you’ve put in place at home or at school, a key part of keeping children safe online is ensuring that they take their own safety as seriously as you do.

So how can you make children take online safety seriously?

1.Understand how children use the internet

When parental controls get in the way of what a child wants to achieve online, they’ll find a way to get around them – even if it puts them in danger. If you want children to work with the controls and protections you’ve put in place and not against them, it’s important that you don’t make any of their regular activities more difficult because of them. Understanding what activities children regularly use the internet for will help you ensure that the safeguards you put in place won’t become a hinderance that tech-savvy children will find a way to disable or ignore.

2. Start discussing online safety early on and keep doing it often

Talking to children about online safety from a young age will help them build safe internet habits rather than trying to impose online safety rules at a later stage. With so many new experiences and lessons filling a child’s mind, regularly discussing online safety and the threats that children face will keep these habits at the forefront. This is the step that many parents and caregivers often miss – while 42% of 6-10 year olds have their own device to access the internet, only 49% of parents have spoken to their children about online safety in the last month.

3. Help children understand why the rules are there

As well as teaching children how to be safe online, a key part to making them take it seriously is understanding why they need to be safe online. This doesn’t mean that you have to share specific details of some of the worst cases of scamming, grooming or cyberbullying – but it does mean that you should ensure children are aware of the key threats they face and how often they occur.

Try to put it in a context they understand e.g. rather than providing a broad statistic, highlight how many of the people in their friend group may be at risk of a particular online threat. Once children understand what threats are out there, they are more likely to follow the rules even if it restricts some of their online activity.

TOP TIP – “Use games to teach young children about online safety

How many Fortnite dances and Minecraft references have you heard from your children over the years? By combining internet safety lessons with interests that kids already have like gaming, you can easily teach children and keep them thinking about staying safe online. Games like Google Interland and BandRunner are some great examples of this in action.

CAP’s child authentication technology aims to tackle some of the most predominant risks associated with online scams, grooming and cyberbullying by ensuring that children can only communicate with other verified children online – creating a safe space for children to learn and explore. While this is different to other child security and parental control solutions on the market, it is still vital that children take their online safety seriously and learn how to stay safe throughout their lives.

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