With the adoption of online learning, it is not surprising that parents now resort to homeschooling for their kids. The beauty of the internet is that apart from grooming your digital skills, you can also study online with a tutor at your convenience. Likewise, it can help your kids with schoolwork and not just social skills and interactions.
As a child, educational websites can help you learn mathematics for kids. But, how do you ensure that you are safe on the internet while learning? Remember that your parents cannot always protect you and monitor your internet usage. So with that in mind, here are some cybersecurity tips for kids that can teach you to stay safe on the internet.
- Do not respond to messages from strangers
Talking to strangers can be pretty risky, whether as a child or an adult. Who knows if the person you are communicating with is dangerous? And with the anonymity of the internet, things can get out of hand quickly.
Involve your parents in every step of your online learning journey. As a kid, you need to understand the need to be careful while attending your online classes. Even if a stranger on the other end gives you several credentials to support their identity, you should not trust them easily.
- Meet with people in open areas
While searching for online resources, you may come across fellow “students” offering you a printed copy of textbooks or wanting to engage in kids math games. If you need to meet with the person, first ask your parents for permission, and follow their advice. Remember to find solace in public places like parks, restaurants, malls, etc. Public places ensure that you can quickly call for help and get it, unlike secluded alleys, unfamiliar houses, and the woods.
- Protect your passwords
Ensure that you always create strong passwords when you sign up on sites. Do not use passwords like the name of your favorite color, animal, pet, or nickname. Use random letters, uppercase, lowercase, and special characters that you can remember. Finally, ensure that nobody else apart from your parents knows your passwords.
- Have a private social media account
If you have a social media account, adjust your settings to make your account private. When you make your account private, it will ensure that only your friends, family members, and people who know you personally can see your posts and photos. If you leave your account open to everybody, strangers may access your private posts and learn things that they could use against you.
- Hide your private information
Do not give out personal information to strangers, no matter what they tell you. These people may be potentially dangerous and eventually put you in difficult situations. Never reveal your name, age, address, school, or information about your parents. Do not display cash on social media platforms because you may attract greedy people who’d want to take it from you.
- Put personal information only on your home computer
If you are making use of a computer system that is not yours, whether you are at the public library or a friend’s to attend online math lessons, never try to access your social media accounts. Hackers may already have access to the other computer and may steal your private information like name, school, age, pictures, etc. If you need to access your personal information, go back to your home computer or use a laptop from someone you trust.
- Disable location services
Currently, several gadgets, file sharing apps, and internet sites enable location services automatically. So, whenever you use the devices or apps, the automatic location tag appears on your photos for anybody to see. If people have access to your location update, they can track and follow you. Also, do not announce when you will be away from home; anybody can use that information to break into your house and steal your property.
- Do not open spam emails
When you are active on the internet, you will frequently encounter spam emails. Spam emails include malware and other fake adverts and messages that may mislead you so that third parties can steal your information. Do not access emails with untrusted links, unreasonably discounted items, and slots for you to input your personal information.
- Buy goods from only secure and reputable sites
Always ensure that you buy online products only from secure sites. Only using sites starting with “HTTPS” will save you a lot of stress, time, tears, and money. HTTPS serves as a guarantee that no third parties will access your private information. Also, endeavor to inform your parents before purchasing anything from the internet.
- Update your antivirus software
Scammers and hackers often use malicious links or documents to steal your personal information from your computer or even destroy it. Updated antivirus software can keep you safe from malware and suspicious documents. Talk to your parents or guardians about installing and activating good antivirus software for your computer.
The internet can offer a plethora of learning tools for kids. But, it can also be dangerous for kids without the proper supervision. Fraudulent people may pretend to be kids to access you and mislead or even kidnap you. The tips and tricks in this article will teach kids to be safe while using the internet and guarantee them the most secure browsing experience.
About the author
Jessica Kaminski has been assisting educators for more than 15 years, serving in various roles as a classroom teacher, consultant, author, and coach. She is a licensed math tutor who has educated schools across the nation in Singapore. Jessica is originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she now resides with her husband, three children, and many pets.