Educating children with the skills they need to protect themselves online can provide great benefits for families. Cybersecurity and digital privacy company Kaspersky shares 7 digital practices that parents can teach their children.
In order to survive in today’s Internet world, everyone needs to have certain skills. While adults tend to acquire these skills as new technologies emerge, today’s children are almost born with a smartphone in their hands. It’s up to parents to teach them how to exist in a world that is constantly bombarded with information.
Kaspersky experts recommend building these 7 habits for parents to help their children adjust to the Internet:
- Create a device-free time zone: When children use technology for a long time, they can become addicted to it. According to researchers from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, this addiction can cause sleep problems, mood swings, weight gain, poor self-image, and body image problems.
Experts recommend gradually increasing children’s screen time with today’s online world and opting for the removal of restrictions. In addition, some useful tips in this regard apply to children of all ages: the simplest and most effective is to not use devices when it’s close to bedtime and to mute them during the night. It would be wise to negotiate other times when children are prohibited from using the smartphone, such as family meals.
- Take control of the charger: Although technology develops at the speed of light, today’s devices still run out of power quickly. It’s also a good idea to have kids leave their devices outside of the bedroom, such as in the hallway or kitchen. So the device’s battery is always charged in the morning and your kids won’t be able to watch videos on TikTok trends before going to bed.
- Pay attention to information security and similar issues: When children step into the virtual world, they are exposed to many dangers both on the Internet and in real life. Start by telling them not to look at their phone while crossing the street or going up and down the stairs.
Children are unlikely to immediately remember and obey all these rules. You can get help from a reliable security solution in this regard. Kaspersky says its Kaspersky Safe Kids can help parents to safeguard kids’ activities, monitor their behaviour, and teach them self-control.
- Aim for sustainable media use: Constant notifications from our devices can make us feel overwhelmed and distracted. You can imagine how hard it is for kids, as even adults sometimes have a hard time resisting the urge to check messages. Limit notifications on your kids’ phones so they’re not distracted while doing homework or other assigned tasks and they can finish their homework faster.
- Follow digital etiquette: Just like in the real world, behaviour on the Internet is subject to unspoken rules. While people often master these things simply by communicating online, children need help avoiding awkward situations, so you should talk to them about some expectations before going online. For example, communication via e-mail and social networks, and messaging applications, talk about the differences between communication channels.
- Organise information: Some say that a regular phone or computer reflects an organised mind. A messy locker probably won’t affect your child’s life but losing passwords or files or forgetting phone numbers can be a problem. Children need to learn to organise information from an early age.
- Regularly schedule a digital detox program: With digital technology entering almost every aspect of children’s lives, it has become nearly impossible to avoid information overload. This means kids need to be able to take a step back and make the Internet a less important part of their lives, first with your help, then on their own.
First of all, limit the use of social networks. Social networks cause great loss of time and energy, “Eight steps to freedom: Logout from social networks”. There are useful tips to help families and children in this regard.
Edited by Zintle Nkohla
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