Stay Safe While Playing Online
Whether you are playing your video games or the online casino games, there are a lot of security issues. One needs to be careful at all times to ensure they don’t end up getting robbed or abused online. This can happen to both adults and kids.
Be A Responsible Parent
When you have kids who enjoy playing games on their computer, you will hear more about these games than school work on the dining table. These kids get hooked to their games and many parents let them be, for various reasons.
When the kids are playing online, they are vulnerable to a number of threats and it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure the kids are safe at all times. The responsibility does not end with just ensuring they are playing only age appropriate games. There is much more to it.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your kids safe when they are online, supervised or not.
Safe From Viruses – Kids get tempted to click on anything and everything. Hackers, malwares and viruses are just waiting to be clicked on by such innocent kids. Clicking on a wrong link can let a lot of things affect your system. In order to avoid this, get the latest antivirus software and firewall installed. Though they may seem expensive when compared to many other older and less effective versions, these will provide better security.
Passwords – Passwords are important for everyone. Just because they are kids, their passwords need not be too simple or obvious. Make a strong password by using a sentence instead of a word, their name along with birthdates etc. These passwords can be positive sentences that can pass a good vive to the child. When they enter a sentence like “help others”, not only is it not obvious but will also push your child towards the positive behavior.
Be Available – Many children like to be left alone while playing and they keep themselves busy this way. Many parents who are busy with their own routine also don’t bother the child. However, ensure your child knows you are always there for them no matter what and they can always approach you if they feel uncomfortable. This could arise due to a new friend online who is abusive, too inquisitive or uses foul language. Children can get bullied online too. Hence ensure your kid never hesitates to come straight to you at the hint of a problem. This will stop them doing something that could be potentially dangerous to all of you.
Rating – Before you let your kid play a game, check the rating of the game and the website. Your kid might want to play something a friend is playing, but that doesn’t mean it is safe and recommended. Always ensure you are the one who decides what can be downloaded and what can be played. This ensures the kids don’t play something that could be dangerous or breach security.
Empower Them – Teach your children the difference between right and wrong. Another player asking for their name and age could be innocent but asking about where they live and how many members are there in the family is not. If they feel suspicious about a particular player or the kind of conversation that is taking place, encourage them to follow their instincts. Teach them to record the conversation, so that you have proof later. Even in case of cyber bullies, teach them to stand up for themselves and face the situation bravely.
Deceptive Online – Ensure the user name of your child does not give away any detail about them. Be it their name, age or which school they go to, etc. It is these personal details that can be used by hackers and other predators online to get close to your child. Do not let them post their own photos online either.
Protect Privacy - Do not let them use a web cam or a voice chat where it is not needed. Always check for yourself before you let them use it. This could be a way for the predators to get a look at your house and the members, talk more personally with your child, etc. also teach you r child the value of privacy and what can or cannot be shared with people online. tell them to never send out files from the computer.
Limit Their Time – Restrict not just what they can access but also how long they can be online. With all gadgets put together – the computer, iPad, phone, etc, set a time limit on the number of hours they can spend online. This will ensure they don’t go overboard. Also, if you find your child secretly sneaking online and keeping in touch with a particular person, check on it immediately. Online predators are always on the lookout for vulnerable children who fallprey to their tactics easily.
Restrict Download – Don’t allow your child to download anything without your permission. This ensures they don’t accidentally download any virus or malware on to the system. Apart from these there are software that can be used to spy on your system and your activities on it. Keeping an eye on what your child downloads will keep you safe on this front.
Don’t Prohibit – Prohibiting your child from using a system or any gadget to go online may seem to be the best punishment when they don’t listen to you and may seem to the perfect manner in which you can keep them safe. However, they have access when they go out of the house. Many children have state of the art gadgets today and if an overly controlled child gets their hands on it, one can never gauge what could happen. Hence it is better to educate your child the right way.
If you insist on something you should do or not do, explain it to them. If you have restrictions, explain the need. This way your child will stay safe and within control even when you are not around.
Online gaming can be a fun way to spend time for every child. Though they may know the nuances of a game, they may not know the dangers lurking on the internet. Parents can help them protect themselves by being proactive and through proper communication.