Getting a child their first phone is a milestone that can cause distress for parents. Security software that includes parental controls, screen time and content filtering helps in protecting children from the internet’s dangers.
In addition, you should have a talk with your child about safe online behavior. Agree on digital rules, just like you have agreed on rules for keeping the room tidy, doing homework, being polite and having bedtimes. Encourage your children to become well behaved, safety-conscious digital citizens with the following tips.
1. Talk to adults if you see something upsetting
There is a lot of content online that might make you feel bad. If you see something scary or disturbing, close the website, app or video, and tell your parents about it. Seeing something like that is not your fault at all and it is always good if you tell adults about it.
2. Be nice
Treat others with respect online, just like you do in real life. Behave politely and take other people’s feelings into account when you chat with them, comment on their photos or play games together. Being kind yourself will make the internet a nicer place. Don’t leave anyone out or bully others. If you see cyberbullying, stand up for others and tell adults.
3. Be suspicious
You can learn wonderful new things on the internet, but there is also a lot of false information. Keep in mind that anyone can post things online and not everything you see is true. Beware of fake news, ads that try to trick you to click by offering rewards, and unknown downloads that could contain viruses or malware. If something feels too good to be true, it probably is.
4. Be careful with strangers
Your internet friends are different from real-world friends. You shouldn’t tell them everything that you can tell your real friends. Sometimes people online pretend to be someone they are not. Tell your parents if you feel uncomfortable about a chat with your online friend even if they ask you to keep a secret. Never meet with a stranger in person without your parents’ approval and presence.
5. Keep private information to yourself
Your passwords, location, home address, phone number, school name and other personal information only belong only to you and your parents. Don’t share this information with anyone else. If someone gets a hold of your login credentials, they can pretend to be you or steal information from your accounts. You should have a different password for every account. Ask help for creating and storing passwords from your parents.
6. Avoid too much screen time
It is easy to lose track of time when you are having fun online. However, too much screen time is not good for you. You should also have enough time for active play, exercise, schoolwork and friends. Agree with your parents, when and where you can use your devices. For example, phones and other devices do not belong to dinner table and should not be used after bedtime in many families.
7. Share photos only with people you know
Sending your pictures to strangers is not a good idea. Only share your personal photos with your family members. When you appear in photos, make sure you are fully clothed. Never post pictures about others online without asking their permission.
These tips and a comprehensive security product help children start using their new devices safely. F‑Secure Total is an all-in-one security package that protects your family’s devices and online activities.
F‑Secure Total allows you to enforce screen time limits and filter inappropriate content on your children’s devices. You can also store passwords in a secure vault and access them on any device. Total sends you alerts if your personal information has leaked online.
In addition, Total keeps your children’s devices safe from malware in case they accidentally download malicious files or click harmful links. With the VPN included in Total, you can access your family’s favorite content while traveling and keep your browsing data private. Total includes up to 25 licenses so you can protect your whole family’s devices with the same subscription.