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Use of Internet is very common among children of every age nowadays. In the past 20 years, internet usage among children has steadily increased. More than two third of 8-year-old children go online each day. The relationship between Internet usage and physical or social aftereffects are complicated ,but some facts are starting to reveal themselves.
As children spent more time in front of computer monitors , they typically spend less time in physical activities . Computer usage is linked to both repetitive motion injuries like carpel tunnel and eye strain .
Children with easy access to the Internet may become less able to separate fact from fiction. Students facing challenging homework tasks and essays are becoming more likely to plagiarize from internet sources.
DEPRESSION AND ISOLATION
Increased internet usage among children may result in the feeling of loneliness and depression . More online time does result in less time spent with family and friends or working on hobbies.
YOUTH AND TECHNOLOGY:
95% of children are able to access the internet.
90% of teens have social media accounts.
78% of twins and teens are smartphone users.
52% of the younger population admit that they have been cyber bullied.
56% of older children are logged onto facebook whole day.
SOME SAFETY TIPS FOR STUDENTS :
Don't post any personal information online - like your address , email or mobile number.
Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you have put any of your pictures online , every other person is able to see it and even able to download it.
Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
Never give out your passwords.
Don't meet with people you have met online.
Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are.
Think carefully about what you say before you post something online.
Respect other people's views , even if you don't agree with someone else's view doesn't mean you need to be rude.
If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable , unsafe or worried , leave the website , turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.
ONLINE SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN :
Limit data usage on the cell phone .
Keep all electronics in open rooms that are frequented by family members. This limits negative interactions online.
Teach your child proper media etiquettes . Start early and instruct them to use proper online behavior.
Limit usage to electronics and use recommended guidelines for time used. Researchers strongly suggest no screen time for children under the age of 2.
Stay informed on current apps and trends. Go to extra mile to understand new social media apps and identify possible problem areas.
Follow your child on social media. Sometimes the mere presence of a parent will encourage better behavior.
Explain the dangers of over sharing personal information online . Privacy is the only illusion and everything posted has the possibility of resurfacing.
On your home network , you can block certain sites which you don't want your child to access.
TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR CHILD'S SOCIAL NETWORKING ACTIVITIES :
While there are benefits to social networking for children , there are many downsides too.
AGE APPROPRIATE :
Facebook has age restrictions . You have to be 13 to have a facebook account . This is a good guideline for many social media interactions. Require your child to wait until their 13th birthday or until you are comfortable with them being online .
This includes sites like twitter , Tumblr etc.
CONNECT WITH YOU
One of the rules of the social media should always be that your child must connect with you on the site.
Not on social sites have privacy settings . However,facebook does. Make sure your child's settings are set so that public cannot see what your child is posting ;only friends .
MONITOR THEIR USAGE
Monitor your child's usage with tools like Netnanny . Learn what sites they visit , how long they stay there and their general online activity.
TEACH ABOUT INTERNET CONSEQUENCES AND DANGERS :
It's important that your child learns consequences of sharing online . Nothing can be removed or taken back . Teach them to think hard and long before they post anything. Show them how to block people so that they don't have to deal with inappropriate comments.
KEEP THE COMPUTER CENTRALIZED :
Regardless of your child's age , it's always a good idea to keep the computer in a location that is centralized to the home . This makes it easier to keep an eye on websites they are visiting and the time they are spending on every site.
Your child looks to you for guidance , support, and structure and that includes when they are on the internet . Social media is here to stay. Create rules for their interactions and make sure your child is safe.
FOUR WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE ON THE INTERNET :
PREVENT CYBER CRIME :
People think that kids are too young to be victims of cyber crime , but as identity theft protection company life lock notes , this is exactly what the bad guys want you to think . Identity thieves target 'tweens and teens' unused social security numbers and use the personal information to do all sort of things from opening a credit card account to buying a car or home. In order to prevent this from happening , explain to your kids the importance of keeping their data as private as possible when on the internet. Teach them that if any social networking site asks them for their name , number etc , they should immediately report it to you.
AVOID CYBER BULLYING :
Cyber bullying is the most common threat a child has to deal with while on the computer. Tweens and teens who are being bullied online often end up feeling depressed , anxious and isolated .
There are email applications like block sender that will block unwanted messages from people you do not wish to contact your child over the internet and you can also set the app to block any email that had specific word or subject. This way, if someone is trying to bully your child , they will never know since they will never see the message in the first place.
PREVENT ACCIDENTAL VIRUS DOWNLOADING :
Tweens and teens can be bit happy at times , and will often believe that they are getting a free video game for just clicking any link or entering a contest with a 5,000 rs. Prize . Remind your internet surfing child of the saying " if it seems too good to be true , it probably is" and make a rule that no one is allowed to click any advertisement without your permission . Explain how doing so can cause viruses and malware to infect the computer , which can render it useless.
KEEP TEMPTATION AT BAY :
The internet is an amazing source of information and fun and games,but it also has a dark side. To prevent your curious teen from checking out questionable websites , safe surfing kids suggests keeping your computer in a high-traffic area in the home. Use internet filters and parental control to make sure your child will not visit unwanted sites , and develop and your child , and have your child sign an online rule agreement that specifically covers what is and what is not appropriate for them to do online.
By following these four simple tips , you can teach your children to be more safe surfers.
Read out our other informative articles on How much Digital Media is Safe for your Children and 4 Reasons why Students need technology to excel in their studies.