With the Winter school holidays here, kids and teens now have ample time on their hands to spend online. But regardless of whether they are on social media, gaming, or just browsing the Web, parents need to be aware of the digital dangers that lurk on the web and what they can do to keep their children safe.
Cyber bullying has become an increasingly worrisome trend. Just as with adults, many children turn to the online world as a harmless form of escape from real life. However, the ability to make friends on the Internet is a double-edged sword.
While it is wonderful to get to meet people from all around the world who provide different viewpoints and life experiences to what we are exposed to, it is also easy for those with malicious intent to send nasty messages and other highly inappropriate pieces of content to children. The best way to combat this is to take a screenshot of the offensive conversation, report it to the moderators, and block messages from that user.
The threat of online predators is also something every parent must be aware of. Typically, these are older users who use games or social media to lure and groom younger victims. Chats might start innocently enough especially if these predators use information about the child or teen available on social media.
The friendship might even reach the stage where the predator will convince the victim that they are the only person who really understands them. Soon enough, chats can culminate in sending each other inappropriate messages, having illicit Web cam chats, or trying to set up real-world meetings.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to have honest and open conversations with your children about these risks, to let them understand you are always available to them should they have any questions about someone, and to not feel pressured into doing things online they would never consider doing in the offline world.
And then there are hidden costs to consider when it comes to those ‘free’ games available for download. Some of these titles let your children download and install them but limit the game functionality unless a small amount is paid. This might do the trick until a certain level is reached when the game will request an additional payment. And on it goes until your children have inadvertently spent thousands of Rands with no potential for a refund.
As parents, the best way to avoid this from happening is to not attach your credit card details to their gaming profiles. It is also a good idea to frequently check your statements for any odd transactions that might have gone through.
General Tips And Tricks
Beyond these, there are also a few general guidelines to make children aware of when it comes to their safety online. These include:
- Never share usernames and passwords.
- Never share any personal information such as physical address or school they attend.
- Change passwords frequently.
- Do not accept every friend request sent.
It all comes down to keeping your children informed of the dangers they could face online and that you are always there to help them should they feel unsure about anything.
Win 1 Of 5 Kaspersky Safe Kids Licenses
To help parents ensure that their children have safe online experiences, Kaspersky has partnered with Kaboutjie to give away 5 x 1 user, 1 year license codes to Kaspersky Safe Kids – a parental control software that offers flexible tools that help parents to safeguard their children’s online activities, monitor their behaviour and teach them self-control.
Enter your details into the form below to enter this competition.
This competition is open for residents of South Africa and Terms and Conditions apply.
The winner will be announced on our competitions page - this competition is open from:
04 July – 07 August 2022
This Competition Is Closed For Entries
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