Your Kids Might Be Tech-Savvy, But Are They Secure Online?

Our kids are growing up in a world in which there are already more than 5 billion internet users worldwide, with multiple websites created every second, and hundreds of thousands of those sites hacked every day.

It’s impossible to track who is who and what everyone is doing online.

To some extent, this is undesirable, as freedom is one of the things that makes the internet so vibrant. 

It’s essential, however, for families to take precautions regarding their access to the internet.

You can do many things to keep your kids safe online.

Here’s a rundown of the top ways to increase your kids’ safety and security while using computers and other electronic devices, particularly those connected to the internet.

Talk openly about your kids’ online activity

One of the best ways to keep your kids secure online is to foster an environment where you and your children can talk easily about the internet and how you use it.

Kids that feel judged or threatened may be more likely to hide their activity.

This can be particularly dangerous when people online can seem trustworthy but mask their true identities and intentions.

Ensure that your children can come and talk with you if they have any concerns.

And explain to them the fact that comments and images they post online never really go away.

Verify identities

One of the key security issues of children online is that people can pretend to be someone they are not. 

Adults can pose as children to communicate with them and lower their guard.

And they can do so using multiple fake profiles across multiple platforms.

According to the FBI, half a million online predators are active online every day with more than half of victims between 12 and 15.
Of course, parents should impress on kids the risks of physically meeting people they have only before encountered digitally.

Nuwber can help parents verify personal details, such as where new acquaintances live and their occupation. It can help you feel more secure and help protect your child.

Teach your kids how to spot:


These emails tend to feature spelling and grammar mistakes, a sense of urgency, and email names that may seem authoritative at first but are actually misspellings, such as TheFacebook instead of Facebook, or MiicroSoft.

Sometimes hovering over a hyperlink can reveal the true address to which the user would be redirected on clicking, which can help decide if a link is genuine.


Kids should be wary of downloading anything online, particularly if they have spotted any of the signs above, if the application seems too good to be true, or if it has an unrecognized file extension.

Phishing attempts

Phishing can occur in emails, chats, or even on a web form.

It’s when someone tries to get personal information from a user, which could then be used to commit fraud, make unauthorized purchases, or extort money.

Teach kids not to share personal information online, including their physical address, date of birth, or card details.  


This is one cybercrime on the rise, where an adult manipulates a child into sending one or more explicit images or videos online.

The criminal then either uses threats, shaming, and fear to get the child to produce additional images. 

Children need to be aware that adults can and do pose as children or teenagers online and may aim to manipulate their victims with flattery, money, and threats.

Teach your kids what to do when they encounter malicious content

If your child spots any of the above content, they should discontinue any communication and, above all, let you know as soon as possible.
Most email services allow users to report emails as spam or otherwise malicious content. And your child can also block the sender to prevent further contact.

Ensure you are using up-to-date security software

Just as hackers are continually working on ways to exploit vulnerabilities in software and hardware, developers are continually working to make users more secure.

Installing security software is like employing a security guard for your IT system.

It pays to get one that is thorough and experienced.

Keeping your software up-to-date stops it from falling asleep on the job.
Free virus checkers and firewalls that come with computers are often adequate for most people’s needs. 

Paying for a branded, professional version can give you peace of mind.

Beware of very cheap computer security for download online.

These, conversely, can be a source of malware as creators know that people looking for online security are likely to be more vulnerable.

Monitor your kids’ computer use

Keeping track of what your kids do online is essential for parents.

It may seem like nannying them or becoming “Big Brother,” but nannies protect children, and who couldn’t do with a big brother from time to time?

If you feel bad about going behind their back to look at their activity, explain that monitoring computer use is one way parents help keep their kids and the rest of their family safe.

Use parental controls

Parental controls allow you to:

Set screen time limits

You can use apps such as Google’s Family Link to understand not only how much time your child is spending viewing a screen, but what apps they are using.

Spending an hour reading a book might rate differently than spending an hour watching videos or playing a game.

You can use parental controls to set daily limits, monitor the phone’s activity, and lock it remotely if you so desire.

And you can decide what apps your child may download and stay up to date with their attempts to make in-app purchases.

Manage what content your children can view

Apps can help parents keep their kids restricted to family-friendly websites with which they are comfortable, block specific sites deemed unsuitable, and prevent them from making transactions.

Know the device’s location

Parental controls extend to allowing parents to know where the phone is as long as it was used recently while connected to the internet.

In this way, parental controls can help kids stay safe physically when away from home.

Insist that your child uses electronic devices in public

You can avoid a lot of security issues by always having your kids use connected devices where you can see and hear them.

This will limit opportunities for them to be taken in by manipulative people and engage in any behaviour that is less family-friendly.

Explain the dangers of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying – bullying that occurs via digital devices - can be harder to spot than the kind of bullying that takes place during recess or lunch.

It typically involves creating and sharing hurtful content about the victim.

Usually, this happens anonymously.

According to research by, about one in five children between 10 and 18 have experienced cyberbullying, which can leave them feeling angry, hurt, and/or frightened.
Be aware also of the correlation between the child's age and the likelihood of cyberbullying.

The older the child, up to 18, the more likely they are to be cyberbullied.

And kids with household incomes under $75,000 are more likely to be harassed than those from households earning more than $75,000.

For kids, using technology is a way of life, creating generations that are more computer literate - and arguably more literate, period - than ever.

With these tips for keeping your kids secure online, they can get the most from this vast resource and stay safe while they do it.

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