The office of communications indicated that about seven out of every 10 twelve to fifteen-year-olds have profiles on social media. When we talk about the impact of technology on children, it would mean the impact the internet and social media have on them. Though there are some positives to take from kids having an online presence, everyone is also quick to blame technology for some other problems ranging from violence,cyber-bullying, drugs, and self-harm to obesity. This is why parents need to be worried about the kind of content their kids are exposed to online and how to keep them safe. Let us look at some precautions on How To Keep A Safe Online Presence For Your Children.

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Control your family’s digital footprint

Someone’s digital footprint comprises every picture or personal detail of that person shared on social media and the internet. Once any piece of information is shared publicly online, you cannot control the manner in which such detail will be used. Anything you put online can be considered permanently public because even if you feel you have made a ‘mistake’ posting something, chances are that someone else would have saved it before deciding to delete it. Due to this fact, you need to be in control of your family’s digital footprint as parents to keep your kids safe. You need to have a look at what they want to post online before they do and you also should be careful with what you post about your children. 

Turn off geotagging features

When you are online, your location is usually always public and can pave the way for a harmful person to get to you. This is because of geotagging features which are available on most applications, networks, and devices. You can turn off these features to keep your privacy and make you safe online. As parents, this is very important if you must protect your kids that enjoy being online. Information about the time, date, and GPS location on photos you upload online could also give you away. While some social media platforms hide this data, not all do. 

Hide their locations

You can opt for hiding your child’s location altogether by using Virtual Private Networks (VPN). A VPN extends a private network across a public network and allows you to share and receive pieces of information across the public network as if the computer were connected to the private network. This way, the location of your child’s computer will never be found by those who are there to harm them. You can research a list of the best VPNs to get the right one for your kids. With a good VPN, the child is free to surf just about any site for kids and be protected from those with evil intentions, some of which can also be kids.

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Make sure you can always see screens of their devices

Usually, a child will not be comfortable viewing some content on the internet or social media if he or she knows that the parent is lurking around and could see the device’s screen. They may call it disconcerting but if that is what it takes for the child to thank you later, you should probably do it. Do not allow them to take their devices to a hidden place where you would be totally oblivious of what they are doing online. Sometimes, the child will not know that what he or she is doing could be harmful later. If you notice any potential danger, call your child’s attention to it and educate him or her to know that it is safer to stay away from that act.

If you do not want to be that kind of parent that is always sneaking over their kids to know their business, you can choose to be honest with them. You can ask openly about what apps they are using, what they are doing in their online time. Then, you can offer your help with whatever they cannot figure out. Create that safe space between you and your kids so that you will be their first door whenever something is not going right with them. For example, an important thing to mention would be the risk of sending files on the internet. You must teach them the right way to share files with the right people, without risking anything later. 

Help your children choose strong passwords

The importance of using strong passwords cannot be overemphasized when it comes to keeping safe online. Making your passwords simple to remember or using the same password across all platforms you are registered on is harmful as it would mean that once one is breached, the others are in danger. When your children sign up on different social media platforms, encourage them to use strong passwords. You can even help them with choosing a befitting password that will stand a hacker’s test. They shouldn’t use their dates of birth or other pieces of information about them that can easily be breached. Hackers usually try to clone people’s passwords so that they can have control of their accounts. If they succeed, all pieces of information about your child will no longer be safe.

Final word

Keeping your children safe online doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allow them to use the computer. You just need to guide them so that they can enjoy being exposed to using the internet early and still learn how to embrace a safety policy in every area of their lives. There are so many ways to help them stay safe. You need to make sure you are doing it right as the parents so they won’t be overwhelmed. Most importantly, make sure to keep yourself safe.

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