One of the biggest challenges we face as parents are giving our children enough space so they can learn to become more independent while also understanding that there are a lot of risks out there in the big wide world. When our children are young, we’ve got to take the right steps to keep them safe. The internet is such a huge part of everyone’s lives but unfortunately, the same old scams are everywhere. Children don’t approach the web with the same type of caution a lot of us do, which is why my healthy internet habits are crucial. Here are some things to consider:
Protecting Your Privacy
There are plenty of resources out there that can show you how to protect your privacy. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your children is to have a virtual private network (VPN). There are numerous resources out there, such as https://clearvpn.com/, but you’ve also got to be aware of the privacy settings on each website and app you use. It’s something that we may not get into the habit of doing, but once we start practicing this, it’s going to provide an extra layer of protection.
Understanding the Internet Is Permanent
This is something we all need to be aware of. Everything you post online is permanent, even if you delete it. There are so many people who have tweeted about things that have easily been uncovered after deleting them. We’ve all got to think twice before we upload pictures, videos, or comments that we may regret later. This is why modeling healthy internet habits are crucial for the sake of our children. When they are young, they will easily view the internet as a treasure trove of opportunities. If they want to watch videos of people playing games, there are thousands upon thousands of opportunities. But we also need to be aware of what this can open up. When we start posting things online, even if it is a single comment on a YouTube video, we’ve all got to be aware of what this opens us up to. This is why it might be beneficial for you to model the habit of observing, even when it’s you navigating social media. Some people cannot help but comment on the littlest thing, but as parents, this is when we start to get into a Tinderbox of problems. So you need to ask yourself if you were to post something, would you find yourself regretting it eventually?
Model Kind and Respectful Behavior
Everybody is entitled to share their opinions and beliefs. There will be things that we feel compelled to share online, and our children will inevitably start to share almost everything online because it’s an outlet that they think is theirs. When our children have free access to the internet, for example, if you give them a smartphone, it is important to communicate that being respectful and kind online is exactly the same as in the real world. Because, after all, who would want to be treated horribly in real life? A lot of the reasons why people are horrible to others online is because there are no repercussions. This may be the case now, but things are becoming a lot tighter. And this is why we have to model this type of respectful behavior.
You may have friends online who share every little part of their life. On social media, they will have their telephone number, the year they got a certain tattoo and everything in between. And our children may feel tempted to overshare information because they haven’t learned the concept of privacy just yet. Oversharing is not just about doing it online, but about understanding that it’s something we can do in real life, so we have to remember that one will spill over into the other. If you worry about oversharing, this guide on https://lifehacker.com/ can help you become more aware of this.
Be Careful Who We Trust
We don’t want our children to talk to strangers but we also need to model this behavior when going online. It’s so easy for bad people to pretend to be somebody else online, and making sure that our children don’t make plans to meet with somebody that they don’t know about without involving us is crucial. We have to be cautious. Because if we hear anything online that makes us uncomfortable, we have to speak to our children and ensure they stop interacting with that website or app.
Good Practices Towards Security
One of the best things we can do is to set up our children with email accounts (or social media if they are old enough). This way, we can ensure they have a solid password. They may not like the idea of us having access to their passwords but this can help us to keep a little eye on what they do online. This can be a tricky thing to navigate because we’ve got to get the balance right. We can’t constantly be snooping on them either. But if we do everything correctly and use security in the right ways, there is still the potential to fall victim to scammers or criminals.
Your children will be using the internet their entire lives, and this means you will want them to be educated in terms of what the internet can offer, but also ensure that your children are empowered enough to protect themselves. The right habits will ensure that everybody uses the internet in a healthy manner. It’s something that we all need to be aware of. So many people don’t have good internet habits because the internet was not around when they were children. This is why our children can benefit from that solid foundation. If you teach them the right etiquette when it comes to being online but also ensure that you have the right things in place, this is going to give you more peace of mind.