Keeping up with kids is difficult and keeping up with changing technology that affects them can really leave you feeling overwhelmed. A study by Intel Security lets us know that now, we even perceive what kids are doing is better than what actually may be.
We know no kid is better behaved and honest than yours. But they are a curious lot and no matter how great they may be, they still are likely going to go poking around online when given the opportunity. The three misperceptions found in the study come down to trust, online safety methods, and thinking kids know more than parents about technology.
You may be able to trust the kids, but you can be sure that you should not trust the Internet. There are a lot of scary things out there and malware is probably one of the least to worry about. Online predators are real and dangerous. They are sneaky and can take advantage of the fact that a kid’s brain does not fully form until he or she is into the 20s. Decision making is a learning process. Scammers are lurking around every corner trying to get any information that may lead them to a payoff and malware hides behind all sorts of links, including advertisements that seem harmless. Teach them how to make the right choices.
Be sure to have a frank conversation with kids about online security. Start as soon as they start using computers or smartphones. Explain that they should never reveal their names or address, any sensitive data or otherwise without asking permission from a parent first.
Learn the sites they like to visit and what they are all about. Make their social networks your hangout too and create a “village” to help keep an eye on them. No matter how trustworthy they are, you still need to monitor the roads they go down. It’s just like making them clean their rooms. If you aren’t there, they will probably take the other fork.
Take the time to learn new technologies that are all the rage with the kids these days. Don’t assume that you can’t figure it out. If you truly cannot, ask for help. This includes learning how to use their mobile devices.
The physical and virtual worlds are dangerous places. Just as you help them understand stranger danger, teach them online safety too.
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