Keeping Your Family Safe Online in 2023

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Now that the world has become increasingly connected to the internet at all times, there has been a huge effect on society. Children are growing up and using technology and devices connected to the internet from a very young age. Although the internet as a whole is taking steps to become much safer, you can never do enough to protect your family when they are surfing the web. Being proactive about your family's online safety and making sure everyone is educated about the dangers can make a massive difference. Here are all the best ways you can keep your family safe online. 


Talk With Your Children 

The most important part of online safety is making sure your children know how to stay safe online. Children may not be able to spot dangerous situations, so it's your job as a parent to make sure they know. Telling your children how to stay safe online in an age appropriate way is fundamental to keeping your family safe online in 2023. This is especially important for older children, who may have more freedom and less supervision when they use the internet. 

When you talk to your children, it's important that you stay calm and measured - although cyber danger is a scary thing, you don't want to scare your kids. Provide context to what you are talking about - maybe something you have seen on the news. This way, you will be bringing up online safety in a non-confrontational way, making them more likely to listen to what you have to say. It's important to get vital information across without being angry or accusatory, so you can communicate better with your kids. By staying calm, you will be able to have a productive conversation about cyber safety. 


Put Parental Controls On Devices

For younger children, putting parental control apps on their devices may be a useful tool when it comes to protecting them from cyber danger. If your child is often using online search engines such as Google for homework, you may want to consider installing a parental control app. This can filter out inappropriate material, and can protect your child from seeing something they shouldn't when surfing the web. 


Keep Screens And Devices In Sight

This is also particularly relevant for young children. For young kids, you should be monitoring their screen at all times. When they are using a device, you should be watching what they are doing. Keep the computer in a central spot in the home where it's easy to look at what your child is doing online. You should also monitor their browsing history, and set the devices to forget Wi-Fi passwords, so they can't go online without your permission. As children get older and can comprehend the dangers, they can earn the privilege of private internet access. Until then, you should be monitoring all of their internet usage. 


Know What Information They Are Sharing

If your teenager uses a lot of social media platforms, you should be aware of the information that they are sharing. Look at their profiles - is it clear where they live, what school they attend, where they go on a regular basis? This can be dangerous because if people can find this information easily, it can make them a risk to be targeted by dangerous people. Teaching your child about ˜share-awareness' and being limited about the information they share online can help them be better protected as they use the internet. 


Use The Apps/Websites They Use

If your child wants to use a particular website or application, it's a good idea to try it out before they do. This way, you can see all of the features of the app and how it can protect your child. For example, does the website or application have a block feature so they can remove anyone making them uncomfortable? Does it have filtration systems that block harmful and inappropriate content? This is a great way to see if your child would be safe using the app or website, and you can make an informed decision on your child's internet usage. 


Look At Digital Footprint

A person's digital footprint could follow them around their whole life. Every picture or bit of information shared online helps to create someone's digital footprint. Once data is shared on the internet, it can be very difficult to control. You should assume that everything you put online is permanent. This is true for children's social media, and also for parents who share photos of their kids online. This could be a huge safety risk. You should talk to older children about putting offensive or mean things on the internet, as this could affect them in the future. Making sure your children are aware of their digital footprint will allow them to make better decisions when it comes to sharing information online.


Track Their Online Time

Many paediatricians and health researchers have suggested that most children should get no more than 2 hours of screen time every day. This could have detrimental effects on their overall health and concentration span. Therefore, as a parent, you should be tracking how much time they spend in front of screens. By setting specific usage times, you will be able to help your child recognise how much time they are spending online. You should also try implementing screen-free days, so your children can entertain themselves away from devices. 


Be A Good Role Model

Kids often emulate their parents and look to them as an example for how to act. By displaying good digital habits, you will be showing them how to use the internet safely. Be careful about the information you share about them and yourself online. Start limiting your own screen time and spend time with your children, so they can entertain themselves without devices. By displaying your own good behaviour, they will be more likely to have good online habits themselves. 


Educate Yourself 

One of the most difficult parts of keeping your family safe online is keeping up with how the internet has evolved over the years. Most likely, when you were a kid, the internet wasn't as present in your life as it is now. However, by educating yourself and keeping up with cyber security trends, you will be able to better prepare your children for using the internet. There are many cyber security courses available so you can educate yourself, from business cyber security to parental cyber security. Consider going on a course or reading some relevant materials online so you can better understand how to protect you and your children online in 2023. 

Keeping your family safe online in 2023 can be difficult, considering how cyber safety is changing. By following these steps, you will be able to better protect your family as they use the internet. 

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