Keeping Your Child Safe on the Internet

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Keeping Your Child Safe on the Internet

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The world evolves, and new technologies often become a regular part of life. A long time ago, it might have been enough to warn children not to trust strangers or for a parent to keep an eye on them when out and about. Nowadays, with the global access provided by the internet, things become more complicated, which is why it is very important to teach the young how to be safe while navigating the web.

Very recently, we’ve seen a very real example of risks in the web with the so-called Momo Challenge – a fake internet phenomenon that grew in notoriety because of misleading news. While the challenge in fact never existed, the illusion gained such a widespread audience that actual videos began to appear on platforms such as YouTube trying to replicate it. While it is estimated that no children were really harmed as a result of this trending topic, many were in fact affected and traumatized by the sheer exposure to the news.

In order to ensure your children are safe when navigating the web, or at least know how to handle these situations, it is important to talk with them.

These are few simple tips on how to keep your children safe and how to educate them on proper caution:

Never share personal information. This is probably the quintessential piece of advice that any child or teenager using the internet should hear and understand. The concept of stranger danger does not stop once you enter your home. The internet may be full of wonderful things and useful information, but it also plays host to people who are not well-intentioned. Explaining to your child that he or she should not share a name, age, address, school, or any piece of personal information with people they do not know is imperative to avoid unfortunate situations.

Never send personal pictures to strangers. It is not just information that should not be shared. Pictures or videos are also personal things that should not be shared with strangers.

Keep passwords private. Children need to understand the importance of privacy in terms of security, which is why they should only share their passwords with their parents. Not with friends or, more importantly, strangers.

Never open messages from strangers. Another good suggestion is to never open e-mails or messages from people they do not know. Explain to your child how these messages can contain a virus or other harmful material.

Always be polite and respectful. The internet grants children access to people all over the world. It is important for them to understand that, while the people on the screen may seem like just an avatar or a name, they are in fact human beings, with feelings of their own. Being rude is just as bad on the internet as it is in person.

Identify red flags. It is recommended that parents talk to their children about what to keep an eye for. We have mentioned some things – such as messages from strangers – but each family should make sure everyone knows what sort of things are allowed and which are not, and what sort of things should immediately cause suspicion and be reported to a trusted adult.

It may seem like having these conversations with your children is a waste of time, because you feel they already know them. But a little bit of extra caution can go a long way.

Manteniendo a sus hijos seguros en internet

El mundo evoluciona, y nuevas tecnologías se vuelven una parte regular de la vida. Tiempo atrás, quizás fue suficiente advertir a los jóvenes que no deben confiar en desconocidos o prestarles atención mientras fuera de la casa. Hoy día, con el acceso global del internet, las cosas se complican más, por lo que es sumamente importante enseñar a nuestros niños como navegar la web de manera segura.

Estos son algunos simples consejos sobre cómo mantener a sus hijos seguros y educarles para tener cautela:

Nunca compartan información personal. Este es probablemente el consejo más básico que cualquier niño o adolescente debe tener claro y entender. El concepto del desconocido peligroso no se limita a las afueras del hogar. El internet puede estar lleno de información y cosas maravillosas, pero también de gente con intenciones sospechosas. Explicarles a sus hijos que no deben compartir nombre, edad, dirección, nombre de escuela, o cualquier otra pieza de información personal, será clave para su seguridad.

Nunca manden fotos o videos a desconocidos. No es solo la información la que no debe ser compartida. Fotos y videos también son personales y no deben ser enviados a gente que no se conoce y en la que se confía.

No compartan contraseñas. Los jóvenes deben entender la importancia de la privacidad en torno a la seguridad, por lo que solo deben compartir sus contraseñas con sus padres. No con amigos, un mucho menos desconocidos.

Nunca abrir mensajes de gente en la que no confían. Otra buena sugerencia es nunca abrir correos electrónicos ni mensajes de extraños. Es bueno explicarles a los jóvenes que estos pueden tener un virus u otros elementos maliciosos.

Siempre hay ser respetuoso y educado. El internet provee acceso a personas alrededor del mundo. Es importante entender que, aunque esas personas en la pantalla pueden parecer solo avatares o nombres, son en realidad seres humanos con sentimientos. Ser grosero en la web es tan malo como serlo en persona.

Identificar señales de alarma. Es recomendable que los acudientes hablen con sus niños para que sepan a qué tipo de cosas deben prestarle atención. Adicional a las que ya hemos mencionado, cada familia tiene sus propias reglas y filosofías, por lo que los jóvenes deben tener claro cuándo deben alertar a un adulto.

Puede parecer que este tipo de conversaciones son innecesarias porque usted siente que su hijo o hija ya las sabe. Pero un poco de cautela adicional puede hacer toda la diferencia.

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