Tips to Educate Kids about Internet Privacy and Security

About 10 years ago, when the internet was still young, it was possible to be online and still remain anonymous with relative ease. You could easily hide behind a screen name, unable to be tracked by search engines, companies or anyone else who collects information on all your moves.

However, the internet today has expanded way beyond our expectations. It’s no longer the safe and a private haven as it used to be. Everything we post on the internet is almost like its out in the open, and in most cases, cannot be deleted or removed.
Too Much of a Good Thing!

Sometimes, too much exposure to anything can have harmful consequences, and that is exactly the case with the internet. Imagine the risks associated if you reveal too much private information on the web. It’s no different than revealing your private information to a stranger.

The cases of identity theft we hear about regularly can help us understand how risky it is to reveal too much private information online.
Kids Will Be Kids!

Adults are mature enough to avoid such dangers, but what about kids? Today’s technology has progressed enough for children to easily use tablets and laptops. They know the internet is a magical entity capable of answering obscure questions, providing printable templates of pretty much any animal to color in, and serving up endlessly-repeatable videos of startled cats and loom-band tutorials.

However, they obviously lack the know-how about internet privacy and security and are often eager to over-share. Throughout this learning curve, parents and educators can step in and offer guidance and teach them a bit about online privacy and security.

For your benefit, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you protect your child’s privacy and security:

1. Teach your children a few basic guidelines of using the internet.
First of all, you need to setup some ground rules and educate your children on what online security really is. This can be done by telling them a few basic guidelines. You can start by telling them that nothing on the internet is remains 100% private.

2. Tell them not to disclose personal information.
Educate your child about what personal information refers to. Draw up a list and tell them to always consult with you before sharing this information. Talk through scenarios where sharing personal information could lead to negative outcomes.

3. Password Security.
It’s easy for children to create email accounts these days. You need to tell your children about the importance of password security. Tell them to never, ever share their passwords with anyone, not even their friends.

You also need to advise them to keep different passwords for different accounts so that if one gets compromised, the other remains secure.

4. Stop them from being too revealing.
Children share all kinds of emotions on social media these days. This is especially dangerous since many social networking sites “sell” personal information of their users to businesses.

Extreme emotions can go against your children in later years of their life. Therefore, you need to guide them to be selective while sharing emotions and only sharing them with their close friends on trusted networks.

5. Dangers associated with texting.
Though WhatsApp and Viber are encrypted, other messaging apps are still not secure. Sharing private information and details using these apps is incredibly risky.

Therefore, you need to advise your children to never share personal, or bank details or any other sensitive information like passwords via messages.

6. Public Wi-Fi security.
Children love free Wi-Fi, but they are not aware of the dangers associated with unsecured networks. You need to explain to your kids the dangers of using public Wi-Fi and advise them to always be cautious.

7. Beware of strangers!
There are plenty of chat rooms and forums on the internet. Kids are always eager to discuss their interests with peers. However, getting too friendly with strangers can have adverse effects.

You need to tell your children that under no circumstance should they share any private pictures and addresses, etc. with strangers.

8. Warn them about scams!
Lastly, you need to tell your children never to click on any link or advertisement, even if it’s displayed on a trustworthy source. You should also advise them not to check emails from untrustworthy sources. Such links and emails can start downloading malware or viruses on your PC.

Guiding your children about Internet privacy and security is absolutely essential in today’s age. Our advice is to always keep your device and network secure. Installing anti-virus software is absolutely essential. For ultimate protection, you can install PureVPN on your devices to employ encryption.

Sheheryar Ahmed Khan is a privacy enthusiast, currently affiliated with PureVPN. His reporting covers subjects related to online privacy, anonymity, and security. Also a believer in online freedom, Sheheryar likes to spend his free time streaming football matches and TV shows online.

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