Hi there. In this post, I would like to discuss about internet safety for kids and young students. As many students are learning from home with online classes internet safety is more important than ever.
This motivation behind this post was from the recent news that Facebook wanted to build a version of Instagram for children under 13. Being the skeptic that I am, this seems suspect from Facebook. It sounds like a ploy to gather kids in an online platform, making easier for online predators to lure victims. I do hope that many intervene and not have kids on platforms like this.
Another smaller motivation behind this post is from my work. A Mathnasium student at my work around grade five did share his Youtube channel a few times. I thought to myself, isn't that a bit young to have a Youtube channel?
Stranger Danger Online
I do somewhat remember from parents and from school about avoiding strangers out on the streets. If there was someone older that you don't know, just avoid them. There was also to not tell people where you live and not to give out so much information.
As more of our activities and learning is done online, we do have to be mindful and careful about strangers on the street and online. Online strangers I would say are more dangerous as you can be tracked and certain information can be saved.
There are some weird strangers online that do not show themselves and pretend they are young kids in a website or game designed for children.
Being Careful Online
One of the most important things to teach to kids and children in a developed modern world is being careful on the internet. Being careful online for kids includes:
- Not talking with strangers online
- Not showing your camera often
- Avoiding shared personal information
- Not meeting with strangers from the internet outside
- Using the computer with webcam away from a bedroom but in a common family area such as dining room, living room.
Role Of Parents
I do think that parents have a huge role in how their children grow, learn, behave and think. Schools may or may not teach the essentials when it comes to basic math, science, money management, dealing with others, teamwork, safety, culture and the like. Parents should be involved in teaching children the important topics that schools do not cover. One of these topics is internet safety. Teaching children not to give out personal information online is a start.
Supervising the children as they are online is also a good idea. Parents can have an idea what the interactions are like online between their children and the other people online. Restricting certain websites for young children is also a good idea along with time limits on things like online games and websites.
Banning social media usage could be a good idea for young kids so they would not get addicted to sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, etc.