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5 ways to protect your kids from online predators | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

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No one likes to think their children aren’t safe under their own roof, but the unfortunate truth is that technology can put kids at risk – without ever leaving their homes. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 32 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation came in last year.

With the internet a vital part of everyday life, it can be tough to keep your kids protected from the dark side of the web. That said, even with online predators using increasingly sophisticated tactics, it’s still possible to safeguard your kids by leveraging some common-sense tactics and tech-driven solutions.

Educate children about online dangers

Clear communication is vital when it comes to protecting your kids from predatory threats – and the earlier you start the conversation about online safety, the better. The Justice Department website says, “Establish clear guidelines, teach children to spot red flags, and encourage children to have open communication with you.”

Use age-appropriate language and examples to explain the dangers of online predators. Be open and clear about the kind of information that should never be shared online, such as home address, school or any personal details that could be used to identify them.

Kidshealth.org recommends sharing the following guidelines with your kids.

  • Don’t upload or share personal photos.
  • Don’t share information like your address, phone number, school name or your location.
  • Don’t use your real name online, only a screen name.
  • Don’t share passwords with anyone except your parents.
  • Don’t agree to meet up in person with anyone you met online.
  • Don’t respond to a threatening email, message, post, or text.
  • Tell a parent about any conversation, message, text email or anything else you encounter online that was scary or hurtful.

These guidelines are vital to your kids’ safety online, but it can be a lot to remember for younger kiddos. There are sure solutions that prevent kids from even accessing sites or online forums where their safety could be compromised.

5 ways to protect your kids from online predators

Use protective tools: the Troomi solution

Practical, protective digital tools like Troomi can help your kids stay safe while doing homework or connecting with friends and family online.

Troomi’s smartphones come pre-loaded with kidSMART Operating System, a solution designed to provide a safe and educational digital environment. Parents can customize the device’s web browsing capabilities to ensure their children only access appropriate content. Troomi’s phones also come with Parent Portal, a feature that gives parents complete control over what apps their child can access, who they can communicate with and even where the device can be used based on GPS technology.

Through features like a Safe Contact List, parents can control who can call or text their child, thus reducing the risk of contact from potential predators. Additionally, with Safe Search Web Browser, children can enjoy the Internet while the system filters out potentially harmful content.

Supervise online activities

If your kids spend time online, parental supervision is crucial – especially for younger children. By being involved in your kids’ online activities, you can guide them and ensure they interact in a safe and appropriate manner. This doesn’t mean you have to hover over them every time they’re online.

The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency recommends parents keep the computer in an open area so you can keep tabs on what your child is doing online. You don’t need to watch their every move, but you can keep an eye on the kinds of links they click on and the activities your child participates in.

Encourage offline interactions

While digital skills are essential in today’s world, offline interactions are equally crucial. Encourage your children to participate in offline activities and hobbies. This not only reduces their exposure to potential online threats but is good for them too. According to HealthyChildren.org, face-to-face communication is vital for language development, while offline activities and interactions help stimulate creativity and promote emotional wellbeing.

5 ways to protect your kids from online predators
Photo: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

Develop a trust-based relationship

While technology and protective tools play a significant role in protecting your children, establishing a trust-based relationship is paramount. Let your child know they can confide in you if they encounter anything disturbing online. Encourage them to share their online experiences and express their feelings openly. A strong parent-child relationship will create an environment where they feel safe to discuss their digital experiences and concerns.

Learn more about Troomi

In the era of increasing digital threats, keeping children safe online requires continuous effort – and the use of sophisticated and strategic tools. By communicating openly, staying vigilant and using practical protective measures, you can help your child grow up with a safe and positive digital experience.

To learn more about how you can protect your kids even when you’re not around to help them or supervise, check out Troomi devices and services. Their kid-friendly devices help kids with the technology they want and need, without compromising their safety online. To learn more, visit the Troomi website.

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National Cyber Security