What Kids Do Online & What to Do About It
According to a source for SafeAtLast.co, about 31% of children aged 12-18 tend to lie about their age when accessing the Internet. In this regard, research has shown that up to 95% of parents think they know what their kid does online, while 17% of the children actually claim that their parents haven’t got a clue about their online activities.
In today’s high-tech world of the Internet, the threats are equally present as the benefits of such accessibility of information. Children are particularly susceptible to scams, frauds and all kinds of malicious content and correspondence, leaving parents at a loss of suitable solutions and protection.
In order to know how to help your child, you will first need to gain better insight into their daily activities online. There has been some difference in opinions regarding the degree of control, with 6 out of 10 US and Canadian parents believing they should have complete control, while Italian and Chinese parents disagree.
What Do Kids Do Online?
Either way, regardless of the level of control you would prefer to have over your children’s online presence, it is still crucial to know what they are doing online. One study has identified four different activities as being most common among kids:
– playing games;
– surfing the Internet;
– doing schoolwork, and
– communicating with friends.
While none of these appear risky at first glance, the most common types of threats can be encountered during each of these activities. For one, malicious software and downloads come in all shapes, often disguised as trendy content or school materials. By downloading such files of the net, children are exposed to all kinds of viruses.
Aside from this, they can additionally expose the private information of themselves and other family members, especially during social media interactions with strangers. After all, up to 75% of them claim that they are willing to share such details in exchange for goods and services.
Children are exposed to a number of other risks as well, threatening the safety and protection of both themselves and their entire families. Due to the gravity of the situation, parents and caregivers are actively looking to employ the best solutions for online protection. They may vary depending on the children’s online practices, but there are still some general guidelines that can be followed in all cases:
1. Install a secure antivirus
A reputable antivirus program can do you much good, especially if your child is in the habit of downloading and opening content without scanning it previously. It is advisable to invest in a commercial antivirus, but with a robust set of protection features in order to make sure you can take further precautions in case of need.
2. Use two-factor authentication
Link your account login credentials with an additional account or device – email, phone number, app – in order to use it as a second form of authenticating your identity. That way, you gain an extra layer of protection for the specific account you are trying to access.
3. Block location features
Unless you are using the location on yours and your family’s smartphones, tablets, laptops and even fitness trackers for security reasons, it is best to turn it off. Very often, specific apps are known to share your location without your knowledge, and should the app refuse to run without this feature, you are better off without it.
4. Set up security settings manually
Every time you start using a new online solution, head to the security segment and adjust the settings to meet your preferences.