Sunday, December 8, 2013

Practicing online safety for children

Kaspersky's Lab Research

We keep on hearing how online safety is crucial and how parents should keep their children safe when using the internet, social networking websites and online gaming.
But what is exactly online safety? And why now?
Well, sooner or later you will find that your kids consume more and more media. Whether it’s browsing on the internet, watching YouTube videos, playing with apps or socializing online.
There is plenty of advice out there that will help you better communicate with your kids. And some more advice about how to be prepared towards what you are facing. But from where do you begin?
Like everything—you start from the very basics.
We have gathered for you the best practices on the web from some leading organizations:

1.      Common Sense Media:
·        Visit only age-appropriate sites. Check out the site before your kids visit it. Know what features and what content exist and make sure they’re good for your kids.
·        Search safely. Use safe search settings for young kids or think about applying filtering software to limit inappropriate exposure.
·        Avoid strangers. Tell your kids that people aren’t always who they say they are in cyberspace. Explain that if someone they don’t know talks to them, they shouldn’t respond but should let you know.
·        Be a good cyber citizen! Remind kids that an Internet playground is still a playground and they need to play nicely. A good rule of thumb: If they wouldn’t do something in real life, they shouldn’t do it online. Find out how your children can report mean behavior or unkind content on their favorite sites and teach them how to do it.
·        View your own habits carefully. You are their role models.

2. SMART rules
·        Safe: Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information when you’re chatting or posting online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and password.
·        Meeting: Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ permission and even then only when they can be present.
·        Accepting: Accepting emails, Instant Messenger (IM) messages, or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages!
·        Reliable: Information you find on the internet may not be true, or someone online may be lying about who they are.
·        Tell: Tell your parent or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.

3.      Netsmartz:
·        Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
·        Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
·        Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.
·        Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
·        Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
·        Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.

Do you have your own best practices for online safety? Share with us!

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