Online Safety for young people

Updated: May 19

Online safety and online security is extremely important. People often ask, how do I keep my child safe online, so here are some online safety tips.

We frequently hear about online risks for young people and children. However, it’s important to remember that technology is enriching our lives every day, when used correctly and safely. We live in a digital world and that won’t change. This will be even more so for our children. It is therefore important for them to learn to navigate this digital world safely.

Risks can be minimized when parents create internet/device rules for the household and have your child agree to adhere to them. Talking to kids about the internet means talking both about the dangers, but also about the benefits, but remember you’re the parent. Set boundaries and consider using filtering software and parent controls on devices, like the Norton Family premiere plan, (Click to learn more) which was especially developed to enable parents to better protect their children on their online journey.

Always keep the following in mind.

Ideally, start to introduce your child/children from an early age and if possible, start to introduce them to this on a family computer. Make sure your computer is in a place in your home that gets lots of traffic. Avoid places where children can close doors and be alone. The kitchen or family room are good places. Children are less likely to go onto inappropriate sites, or not follow the family’s internet rules, if they know someone could walk by at any moment and see. Take an active interest in what your kids do online. Sit with them and help them to navigate and praise them when they make progress. If you are involved in their first steps into the digital world, they will be more likely to keep you involved as they get older, and be more likely to come to you when something does happen that make them feel uncomfortable and understand which sites, platforms and games are most appropriate and guide your child toward those. Many popular sites like YouTube, Instagram, etc. have age restrictions, and these are in place for a reason. That is to keep young people safe.

1. Don’t allow your child to sign up for sites if they’re underage or not ready for those sites, or Apps.

2. If they are old enough to register, make sure your child sets their online accounts to private to limit access to only people that they know well.

4. Educate yourself. Do research on platforms that your child will have access to, so that you have a better understanding of what the risks may be and allow you to better educate them. Be aware of age restrictions on the various platforms

5. Just like we teach our children from an early age to navigate the world safely, we can also teach them to navigate the digital world. Many of the same principles apply to the digital world.

  • 5.1 Teach them not to accept friend requests from, or talk to people online that they don’t know. If they receive such a request, they must inform you immediately.

  • 5.2 Teach them to never give out personal information online.

  • 5.3 Teach them that if a web-page or picture comes up that make you uncomfortable, try to close the window. If that doesn’t work, turn off the computer/device and immediately tell a teacher or parent.

  • 5.4 Teach them to always think before they post online. Personal information or opinions sent to one person can be shared with a larger audience, without their knowledge, or permission. Make sure that they always keep this in mind when posting.

  • 5.5 If your child has their own email account, it’s important to make them aware of phishing and scam emails. Teach them not to respond to emails from people they don’t recognize. These emails or respond-and-tag-your-friends type chain posts on social media are often used to extract personal information that can be used for identity theft. Ignore or delete them.

6. Ensure that all your devices are protected by an Antivirus that also includes anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, anti-ransomware, browser protection etc. like the Norton 360 plan. (Click to learn more)

7. If devices are likely to be connected to public Wi-Fi, or if you are concerned about online privacy, also consider encrypted VPN like NordVPN, or Norton VPN. (Click to learn more)

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