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Why you should protect and teach your child about smartphone and internet safety

Billions of people are connected to the internet and chances you are also connected to the internet, the computer, mobile phones as well as TV. These are devices that connect the whole world into your family life, your world and your privacy and so it needs to be taken seriously. In fact, this is the best and worst source to and from the world out there.

To be very blunt, these devices are helping lives and at the same time they are destroying lives.
There is a need for you or your child to make the best use of these devices for his or her own good. It should be a place for creative experience, learning and connecting with others in the right form. From Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa in African continent to United Kingdom – UK-, Italy, Germany, Austria, Iceland, Ireland, to Singapore, Bahamas, Jamaica, United States, Canada, Australia to Barbados, internet, identity theft, and smartphone safety are aa big challenge. People;s information are being stolen, credit card, bank and photos as well as other crimes are going on in minutes. Big brother is watching.

Internet, smartphone and social media safety precaution is important for your child’s future when applied appropriately.  Everyone needs protections and security from identity theft, credit card, banking information, personal information, child kidnapping and other forms of vices. Big  brother is always at the other end watching you or your child unknown and you must also apply your own ways to stop them.

The first step to helping your child live wonderfully on this global village so they use smartphones, cellphones, social media such as facebook, instagram, whatsapp etc safely is by monitoring, protecting and teaching them. You also need to learn more about the internet and smartphones, as well as social media technology if you are not familiar with it. Knowledge is power but applied knowledge is supper power. You need to learn.
In order to learn and teach your child about internet and smartphone security, you need to know that it is going to be like learning how to cross the street, so he needs time, practice and other people who you and him/her can trust and learn from too.

Tips to monitoring your child online
You can actually monitor and supervise and work with your child on the use of smartphone, internet and social media in the following ways among others.
  • Have a frank family discussion about smartphone and internet safetfy and activities.
  • Keep an eye on your child’s smartphones, tablets or family computer by keeping them in an accessible place..
  • Turn off all devices and internet access, smartphones, facebook and other social media at night. This must happen at an agreed time each night.
  • Encourage and adhere to rules of use of these devices.
  • Your child should be taught to know that any child age 13 and below is not allowed to have accounts with social media such as facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram. Your children can be allowed to use social media for their age such as Club Pengium.
  • Check the websites your child has been visiting by using the History tab in your browser.
You could discuss and agree on a written internet use contract with your child. This can include things like how long your child can be online each day and where your child is allowed to use her device. It can also include rules about you knowing your child’s passcode and checking her browsing history. You could note consequences for breaking the agreement too.

Protecting your child online

You can actively protect your child while he’s using the internet:
  • Use a family-friendly internet service provider (ISP). This is an ISP that has agreed to offer families information and tools to make the internet experience safer for children.
  • Help your child identify unsuitable material by naming some things to look out for. For example, ‘If you see a site with scary or rude pictures, swearing or angry words, let me know. It’s not a good site for you to look at’.
  • When your child gets a new app, joins a new website, starts a new account, signs up to a newsletter and so on, make sure the first thing you do is check and set privacy settings. Select the strictest privacy settings, turn off location sharing and so on.
  • Tell your child not to share personal details online. This includes surname, address, phone number, birth date and school.
  • Ask your child to let you know if a person she doesn’t know contacts her via email, instant message, social networking and so on. Block this person from your child’s account.
Ensure that your child understands that people he meets and chats with online need to be treated with serious caution. These people could be pretending to be someone they’re not to gain your child’s trust. Some even pretend to be another child so they can exploit and befriend children.

Teaching safe and responsible online behavior

You can help your child learn how to use the internet safely, responsibly and enjoyably:
  • Focus on the positive aspects of the internet when you’re guiding your child. Spend time showing her sites that are fun, interesting or educational (and then bookmark them for later use). For example, you could help your child find some information she needs for homework.
  • Explain also that some areas of the internet are for adults only and not intended for children to see.
  • Explain to your child that not all information on the internet is good, true or helpful. Encourage your child to question things he finds on the internet. When he finds a new site, he could ask, ‘Who is in charge of this site?’, ‘Have I found information or is this just opinion?’ and ‘Is this site trying to influence me or sell me something?’

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