The internet & digital devices have now become very cheap and accessible. Almost every family has Smartphones, tablets, and computers. “More than one-third of parents with a child under 12 say their child began interacting with a smartphone before the age of 5”. Internet connection is very accessible because young children are also using the internet. Preschoolers of ages 3-4 are spending more time on tablets. How are children coming to the world of technology? And how do they know about it?
These days parents hand over mobile phones to their kids to keep them calm. If a toddler does not want to eat, the phone is placed in their hand while eating.
In this way, they slowly learn to use the mobile phone and access the internet world.
They go online from their mom & dad’s mobile phones and home computers. They get addicted to online games and cartoons.
After the covid 19 pandemic, online classes/homeschoolers have gained popularity in all countries. For study purposes, the use of the internet is necessary. By keeping these aspects in mind, parents allow their children to use digital devices with an internet connection.
Sometimes they use digital devices without the permission of their parents. There is nothing wrong with using the internet. Rather, many things can be known and learned through it. But a child should not be allowed to use the internet alone without proper guidelines. This worldwide connectivity provides children with development and opportunities. But, it has a big amount of inappropriate content. If parents do not monitor them, It can do a lot of harm to a child.
Key sources are-
- Parents mobile phone
- Home computer with an internet connection
- Personal devices
How do we start internet surfing? Generally, a user goes to the homepage of a search engine, like Google, Bing, Yahoo, or others. The user writes something on the search bar and the results are shown to the user. In the same way, kids can type any random things and there’s no assurance how what they see will affect his/her psyche or worldview.
Even general searches can throw up completely unexpected results.
Here is a simple example from https://securelist.com: your child wants to find some new games and enters “game sites” into the search field. The search engine produces links to a range of gaming websites. At first glance, nothing appears to be out of order, and the results are what you expected. But if you follow the links, you may find that in addition to games for little boys and girls, there is also another category: adult games.
Picture source: securelist
To avoid these types of situations, we must have to maintain internet safety for kids. Teach children online safety rules, such as –
1. Being aware of strangers
When communicating with strangers online, tell them to be careful and not to meet any person without informing you. Teach them about the privacy of personal information.
2. Keep their information private
Tell them to not share their phone number, address, location, or institution name with an anonymous person. Sharing limited information on social media is always a good idea.
3. Password safety
Sharing passwords with anyone is dangerous. Help them make a strong password and teach them to remember it properly. Make sure that they log out of their profile every time.