Keeping Your Kids Safe Online This Holiday Season

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: February 6, 2021 Fraud Identity Theft Scams

Not an easy task!

The kids will soon be off from school for the holidays. While carrying on with jobs and life in the real world, parents will need to think of ways to keep kids entertained and make sure that they do not get up to mischief – especially online.

Busy moms hate to admit that there are times when the internet is allowed to babysit in a crunch situation. But before you resort to the Internet, here are some basic rules you can set that they must adhere to:

  • Explain that once something is posted online, it is already there, and anyone can see it. And it cannot be taken back.
  • Only things a parent will approve of should be put online.
  • Review your child’s online friends and get anyone removed that does not come up to the standards you expect.
  • You can’t post kids’ pictures online without their knowledge. This is absolutely forbidden.
  • Dad will read all texts. Minors have no rights, so dad, possibly in the face of strong objections, can do this.

A cardinal rule for all parents is always paying attention to what their kids do online. Incorrect use of a digital device can be compared to a mass destruction weapon!

Gadgets and Gifts

Every holiday season seems to get tougher as kids grow and get more gadgets as gifts. Gadgets become more expensive. They can range from a Pulse Tracker for the kid who likes to work out to a special digital pencil for someone who is frustrated by unreliable stylus performances, and everything in between!

Of course, most kids want the latest iPhones, smartphones, and tablets.

As a parent, life is not going to get easier, and that is why it is necessary to set rules and boundaries and create conversations about the why’s and wherefores of device use as soon as possible.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online?

Kids need to be kept safe online all year round, but in this holiday season, when everyone is rushing around. Obviously, extra busy parents cannot keep an eye on what kids are doing 24/7, but there are some steps you can take to ensure they are safe online when you are not around.

One way to be always aware of what is going on is to purchase a new kind of gadget that has come onto the market. It is easily installed on a home network and can monitor connected devices’ activity and even control what can or cannot be done online. It should not be seen as a spy gimmick but rather as a safety device for protecting your child.

There is no installed software on the controlled devices. This is a single app on your smartphone. While very effective, it should not preclude a frank discussion with your kids about Internet safety and how to treat others online.

Some Things You Can Discuss with Your Kids

A frank and open discussion with your children about their digital lives is necessary. Once you have established a connection and created a conversation about the responsibilities of owning a device, the kids will be more amenable to suggestions about how to be safe online.

Here Are Some Useful Tips for Parents

  • Encourage your kids to consider the content of what they want to post. Explain to them carefully that it cannot be reversed.
  • Teach them how to turn on privacy settings and protect personal information.
  • Explain the benefits of treating others online, as they would want to be treated.
  • Never accept or condone any rude, unkind, or belittling online behavior.
  • Assure your children that no matter what happens online, if they are exposed to something that makes them feel uncomfortable or concerned, you will always be there to discuss the problem with them.
  • When laying down the laws, try to be a role model for the kids regarding your own digital habits. They will take much more notice of what you tell them when you are the kind of parent who walks the talk.
  • Encourage your kids to have some screen-free time during the day, and get involved in some other activities, especially something outdoors in the fresh air.
  • Make it a rule that all devices be switched of at bedtime, with no exceptions being allowed.

As a parent, if you have parental controls on devices, be sure to use them if necessary. If you have a child who finds it difficult to be separated from his or her phone, insist that the phone be charged at night in the parent’s room. Many kids have to be weaned off what is commonly known as a separation phobia.

Children Can Also Be Victims of Identity Theft

Many times children become identity theft victims. The most common way for scammers to get their personal details is via social media sites.

Kids need to be careful about what they post on social media. Millions of children post their pictures and what school they go to on social media sites without coming to any harm, but care should still be taken.

Kids should be aware that pictures of a newly-obtained driver’s license, for example. This, as long as all other documents that contain personal information, shouldn’t be posted on social media. Fraudsters can use the details on the license and then create false licenses, which will lead to a common scenario – identity theft.  No matter how proud your children are of their driver’s license or any other document proving their ability to do something, it should be carefully explained that it doesn’t belong to the social media sites.

In like manner, warn your child that any information regarding social security or financial data, no matter who asks for it, must never be posted on any open forum such as social media.

Conclusion

Digital gadgets have brought a lot of pleasure to many people, but there has also been much harm done to many people, especially vulnerable children.

Your child does not have to be a victim of cyberbullying or of being exposed to improper and unsavory content.

As a parent, it is up to you to remain vigilant and help keep your child safe online this holiday season.

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