From Analog to Digital Parents: Our Responsibilities

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Do you know your child can be lured into a trap when he discloses his location while playing a game online or tagging a photo on social media? Do you know your child’s off mood can be an indication that he’s being bullied online? Or do you know your child is too young to understand the impact of his inappropriate photo or comment if it goes viral?

Well, if this has raised your eyebrows then it’s time you understand what Cyber Safety means for your children. Having accepted that our kids can’t do away with the internet it’s essential we parents be in control of their cyber world before it’s too late. Following 7 tips can be helpful for parents to make sure their kids are less vulnerable to cyber threats:

  1. Your Children and Your Use of Internet Differs:

De facto, but most of the parents are unaware of this. Unlike parents, who use the internet to gather information, children use it to use social media, playing games, watching movies, etc. Once you understand that difference lies between your and their use of internet you will automatically infer the risks and threats associated with it.

  1. Try to be Tech Savvy:

Your kids know the use of internet already. It’s your turn to take a spin now. Watch online tutorials, read articles or take classes if available in your locality. Learn how to make accounts on Facebook/ Twitter, how Facebook suggests friends based on your mobile contacts and email. Learn how to turn on parental controls on every Internet-connected device your children use.

  1. Reduce the Generation Gap:

It’s true the generation gap between you and your kids cannot be eliminated. Still, try reducing it as much as possible. Be more democratic parent by setting an open line of communication between you and him. Teach them to be tolerant online and be ready to accept others’ beliefs and values. Encourage them to talk to you when someone bullies them or when they are stuck in some embarrassing situation online. The more he feels comfortable talking to you, the more will he prevent himself from becoming victim to cyberbullying.

  1. Be part of their Social Network:

We know kids feel it when we try to peep into their cyberspace. For they need privacy and don’t like us to interfere. Yet keeping yourself aloof from this is not an answer. Make them friends on Facebook, Instagram, etc without being actively involved. For example, if Amanda Todd, the girl who killed herself for being bullied online, had told the situation to her parents she wouldn’t have had that tragic end.

  1. General Tips:

Finally, as a guide tell your children to follow some rules of the cyber world, given below:

  1. Don’t make the person your friends on social media who you don’t know in person.
  2. Avoid disclosing your locations asked in the apps or games.
  3. Although cumbersome, do read Terms & conditions before signing up for any social media or blogging site.
  4. Avoid connecting to a public Wi-Fi unless it’s from an authentic source.
  5. If unwittingly you’re trapped into some cyberbully, do communicate to your parents as soon as possible without fear of getting punished.

Author Bio: M. Suleman is a senior academic writer, proofreader, and chief-editor at Being at the supervisory level he’s written a number of articles and reviews. He has in-depth knowledge and experience in academia, current affairs and writing on history.

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