Today, children grow up and develop in a world that evolves around the Internet, where any type of information is at their fingertips and the exchange of data, as well as meeting new friends through games and social networks has become normalized. In fact, according to the Kaspersky study “Digital Kids”, half of Latin American children (50%) have some kind of account on social media. However, this reality is a source of concern for Latin American parents, as 51% of them admit that they are worried that the Internet represents a threat to their children.
According to the report, among the main concerns of parents in the region are bullying, the possibility of minors consuming adult content or being contacted by strangers. Although the Internet offers a wealth of tools and opportunities for children and adolescents, it is important that adults are aware of their activities in the digital world and offer support and guidance to keep them away from online threats.
“Children and teenagers are digital natives, but this does not mean that parents should not supervise the activities they carry out online; Safer Internet Day is a good time to talk to our children about the precautions they should take on Social Networks, check what they post, explain to them the risks they may run and promote rules of digital etiquette. Good online habits should be learned from an early age so that they know the rules of behavior, as well as digital threats so that they can recognize and avoid them,” explains Carolina Mojica, Consumer Sales Manager for SOLA and NOLA regions at Kaspersky.
On Safer Internet Day, Kaspersky shares with parents three actions their children should take to make their online experience safer:
1. Don’t talk to strangers
Just as it is not safe to talk to strangers on the street, a similar rule should apply in digital life. It is important to remember that children and teenagers should not share any personal information on social networks (home address, school, or extracurricular activities) that could help identify them or find them in real life, and even more importantly, share this information with strangers. Many times, one can make the mistake of posting a photo at a sports training site with a geotag or an advertisement that makes it easy to find them.
2. Say no to cyberbullying or digital bullying
For the Internet to be a safe place for everyone, it is essential that parents promote basic rules of online respect in their children: we can start from two basic principles which are ‘don’t do what you don’t want them to do to you’ and don’t write or say on Social Networks what you wouldn’t say in front of other people. Children and teenagers need to understand that writing insults and humiliating people online is bad behavior, which also has consequences.
3. Protect your personal data
It is important that children and teenagers have a sense of responsibility for the personal data they use, including logins and passwords. For better protection, they should not be shared with anyone and should always be kept secret. Of course, parents may know this data, but this does not mean that it is also safe to share such information with best friends or other schoolmates. Passwords should remain complex and unique. If it is difficult to remember several complicated passwords, a password storage and generation solution can be of great help. In this case, you only need to remember one master password to log in and look up passwords by type of applications and services.
To help you take care of your children’s digital safety, you can use a trusted security solution such as Kaspersky Total Security, which includes the Kaspersky Safe Kids parental control tool with features that allow parents to better monitor their children’s online activity, block access to inappropriate websites and regulate the amount of time they can use their computers or mobile devices.