Kid learns about online security

Online security for kids: 4 tips to live by

You spend plenty of time worrying about data at work, so you’re probably eager to leave security concerns at the office.

But that doesn’t mean you can. When you get home, you’re facing an entirely different monster. More specifically, you have to worry about your children and what they’re doing online.

If they don’t know any better, young people can easily get sucked into bad situations on social media and other websites. And in the process, they’ll pick up bad online habits.

Here are a few tips you can use to keep your children safe from internet dangers — now and in the future.

Keep your eyes on the computer

This tip works well with younger children, particularly those six to 12 years old. Keep computers that have internet access out in the open where you can easily monitor your child’s use.

When the computer is in the family room or another common area, you can casually keep an eye on your young web surfer. If your child complains about family noise, invest in some quality earbuds for their use. Just don’t let them take the computer to their bedroom.

As your child matures, you may change your placement policy, but spot checking their internet use is always appropriate.

Site blocking can save your sanity

You should take advantage of parental controls and make yourself the computer administrator, so you can control what programs are added and deleted.

In addition to parental controls, add a site-blocking app. For Chrome, you can visit the Google Play Store and add a free site-blocking extension. Add any site to the extension you believe is a bad influence on your child. For small children, in particular, limiting their choices is a great way to keep them off sites they shouldn’t be on.

Surf together

Children seemingly become tech savvy at an early age, but they still need guidance.

Experts recommend that you sit with your child and surf the internet together. If you do this, you can help your child discover entertaining, educational, and age-appropriate sites. At the same time, you can teach them about the positives and negatives of the online world.

Educate them about phishing and other online threats and give them the guidance they need to make responsible online decisions.

Be the screen time cop

No child needs to be online for hours every day. Because of this, you should set strict limits on non-homework internet time for your children.

Less time on the net means fewer chances to get into trouble. It also encourages your child to invest in other activities, such as outdoor play or face-to-face conversations. In the process, you might even learn how to limit your own screen time — something most adults struggle with, too.

As a parent, you need to take steps to protect your kids from online dangers. The best way to do this is to become involved.

Set up parental controls, install protective apps, and put the computer in a visible location. Make the internet a household topic and above all else, model sensible internet use.