10 myths and truths about internet safety for your kids

Internet safety is one of the most important issues confronting parents these days. 24/7 access to the internet has its pros and cons, even for your kids, with every website on the cyberspace out there within the reach of your child.

This need not always imply fear, however. The internet can be a wonderful place to learn, too. Here are 10 internet safety myths and truths that shed light on the issue and ensure safety for kids:

Myth: The internet turns your child into a cyberbully.
Truth: While kids can actually turn into bullies, the internet is just a way out.

Watch out for behavioral changes and signs in your child, for this would help recognize kids treading on the wrong path.

Myth: Not letting kids interact with strangers online will help protect

Truth: Teaching children how they could recognize unwelcome advances keeps them safe.

Kids need not be stopped from interacting with their peers and other people online but teach them not to give into peer pressure and other things they feel uncomfortable with. “What do you wear?”, “Where do you live?”, “Want a private chat?”, “You a girl or a boy?” are inappropriate questions that should signal a red alert in children.

Myth: Posting pictures of your child online is dangerous:

Truth: If you do not tag your kids or ID them in their photos while also using

appropriate privacy settings, it is pretty safe to share photos as far as Internet safety is concerned.

It’s okay to share your kid’s photograph with loved ones and friends on the social media if you do not tag them and make the photos untraceable. It is important to limit the audience to the family members and close friends.

Myth: Social Media makes kids unsocial

Truth: Social media actually strengthens bonds and relationships

Parents generally tend to label social media as the root cause of unsocial behavior in children. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Social media helps teens build online friends who support and inspire them. Make sure you teach your kid what’s right and what’s wrong, though!

internet-safety-myths

Parental controls when used alone only give a false sense of security

Myth: Using parental controls helps keep check on kids online

Truth: Parental controls only give you a false sense of safety.

Using multiple security measures is the best way to keep children safe online. Apart from parental controls, maintain strict time frames for kids to follow and talk to them about the importance of staying safe online. Keep up and about- do not leave everything to the parental control setting!

Myth: Children show the worst of behavior online

Truth: Most children feel that their peers exhibit a very friendly behavior online

Kids wish to have fun and socialize while on the internet. Children usually feel close to one another, thanks to the powerful social media networks that serve to inspire creativity in children.

Supervising young kids’ internet sessions helps them grow up into responsible citizens

Myth: Placing the computer in a public area of the house inculcates healthy surfing habits

Truth: The best way to ensure healthy internet use is parental controls and a limit  on internet use.

Speak to your kids about the dangers of the internet and fraudulent profiles and activities. Encourage them to open up and speak their mind, so they can be fearless in discussing their problems with you should they face any.

Myth: Use of internet from an early age can be dangerous

Truth: The internet can be a wonderful learning tool when used under parental supervision.

The internet is a powerful tool that helps enrich children’s creativity and artistic vision. Make sure you are always there to supervise your kid’s internet sessions.

Myth: It’s best to ignore threatening messages and posts

Truth: While one must never respond to such messages, it is best to report any cases of bullying or abuse even if they are suspected.

It is common amongst children and teenagers to respond to threatening or abusive messages. Parents must teach their children how they need to report such messages to their parents so strict action could be taken against the offenders.

Myth: Only adults are common targets of identity theft

Truth: Children are more prone to identity theft online!

Cyber criminals target children since kids are soft targets and are frequently careless enough to share personal information on public channels. Criminals can also use a child’s identity and remain unnoticed for years.

Summing It All Up

The internet is a great servant but a bad master. Educate children about the uses and dangers of the internet and help them grow up into responsible citizens.