Local newsNews

How to keep your kids safe when online

JOBURG – Check their privacy settings on social media sites to prevent strangers from accessing personal information. These settings may not always be set up properly by default. 

The internet can be a playground for things such as cyberbullying, malicious content, and bad actors who seek to prey on children and their families for things such as identity theft, criminal activity, and more.

Deputy CISO/ Vice President Information Security, Fortinet Inc, Renee Tarun offers the following tips when children are online:

“As a mother of two young kids myself, I know the importance of keeping kids safe wherever they go, including online. Here are some things parents can do to ensure the safety of their kids,” explained Tarun.

ALSO READ: Easy ways to take charge of your TikTok safety 

Tarun said first talk to children about your expectations for them online. Consider setting boundaries that may include rules about how long they’re allowed to be on the computer, what sites they’re allowed to visit, what software programmes they can use, what tasks or activities they’re allowed to do based upon age appropriateness, knowledge, and maturity.

“Cyber hygiene doesn’t stop here, keep computers in an open area like the living room or kitchen so you can see certain behaviours that you could intervene before something bad happens,” she said.

Tarun added that many internet service providers offer parental controls, sometimes for free, specifically designed to protect children online, restricting access to websites and communication features, such as email, chat, and instant messaging by age, content, time limits, and other categories for learners. Contact your internet service provider (ISP) to see if any of these services are available.

ALSO READ: Raising digitally safe online schoolers

“In addition, you may be able to set some parental controls within your web browsers. Some browsers allow you to restrict or allow only certain websites to be viewed on your computer, and you can protect these settings with a password. While no technology is foolproof, there are also commercial software applications available that you can install to add an additional layer of protection by monitoring, filtering, and restricting access to dangerous content,” explained Tarun.

“It’s important that you know what your child is doing on the computer, including which websites they’re visiting. If they’re using email, instant message, or chat rooms, make sure you have a sense of who they’re communicating with and that your child actually knows the people they’re talking to, and be sure to prioritise privacy.

“Check their privacy settings on social media sites to prevent strangers from accessing personal information. These settings may not always be set up properly by default.

ALSO READ: Raising digitally safe online schoolers

“You should talk to your family about being cautious of fake and malicious websites and potential scams like fake emails. Make it clear that no one should click on any suspicious links or open any unexpected email attachments.

“And finally, have the conversation with your kids that if they see something on a website, in an email, or in a chat room that doesn’t seem right or makes them uncomfortable, that they can come to you with their questions and concerns,” concluded Tarun.


Safety applications that can be employed during this festive season

Parental guidelines for children’s online safety


Related Articles

Back to top button