How to keep children safe in the internet
Sharing children’s photos online or allowing them to create a social media profile comes with dangers, and you might want to learn how to make it safer
Each day more, our social networks are filled with beautiful vacation imagens, Tik-Tok dancers, funny memes, cats and dog lovers and cute little babies. But if you are a mom or a dad, or even if you are an aunty, a grandpa or a recent parents best friend, you might want to learn some security tips you need to know before posting photos of young children online.
That is because, unfortunately, our world has not only internet criminals such as hackers, but also big face-databases that can be dangerous in ways we are only starting to understand. And it is not only important for adults. Nowadays, many children have their own social network account, their own device.
An Avg Technologies study has found that 54% of children between 5 and 9 years old have already created a social network profile. So, it is important for parents to know how to protect not only their own profiles, but their children’s as well.
The first advice before posting your children’s photo online is: think twice. Do you really need to post it? You may prefer to wait until you meet your friends in person to show that cute photo of your son or daughter. Or you can create a closed group only with you most close ones and then share it with them. But remember to advertise then not to forward it.
Using a cripto-protected messaging app, such as WhatsApp, makes its information much more secure against hacker attacks, for example, because even if someone breaks into your mobile, they would not have access to its criptocode and, therefore, messages you have sent and received are secure.
It is basic, but it is never too much to remember. Be aware of your privacy settings. Public profiles are open to, well, the public. It means anyone connected to your social network can find your profile and look at what you have posted. And when you do not know who visited your profile, you are vulnerable to unwanted visitors. Images can be downloaded by people who might misuse it, for example, to create advertising on the other side of the world, fake profiles or to enlarge facial databases.
So, closing your profile is essential. “Oh, but I want likes!” Ok, but at what cost? Having a close profile is the best way to ensure that only authorized people have access to what you post. And, it is important to say, it is not only important to adults. Actually, it is even more important for children’s profiles.
The less children are online, the better
First of all, you might want to delay as further as you can your son or daughter’s first social network profile. Even, take them away from screens for a change, try to find a good toy, a nice park.
We know it is not possible every time, but it is important to at least try. Many studies have already found that children over exposed to screens are more prone to have issues such as attention deficit, concentration disorders and impulsivity that reduce school performance.
In a world each day more immerse in screens, we know it is not an easy job. Even more taking into account that our jobs demands each day more of our daily time and energy. But let’s make an effort, it is about our children’s future. If they are online, it is important not only to take a look at their privacy settings, but also teach them its importance.
In other words, you might not only break into your son’s account and change it by yourself (for start, it is some way invasive), but instead try doing it alongside your children, explaining why it is important. And it is also important to remember, use parents protection and children’s profiles as much as you can.
In streaming platforms such as Netflix or Disney+ you can choose a kid profile settings, which means only content suitable for children will be available. It can avoid exposing young people to violent or sexual movies, for example. Also, parent control (turning on the password for 18+ content setting) is also important for that purpose.
Hide out personal information
But we understand sometimes it is impossible to avoid posting. So, if you are going to do it, know how to make it safe. As we said before, first of all make sure you or your son have the right privacy settings.
But also, be aware of what is being posted. For instance, avoid personal information. Examples of it are: school name, home address (not only yours, but from relatives as well), places you have visited, restaurants you use to go etc.
Another advice is to turn off “check in” functions and location tracking systems. That kind of information not only gives out where you were, but also is stored in lots of different clouds and places, and you can not say for sure if all of them are really secure against hackers, for example.
Nevertheless, if you have a child close to you, do not over expose their bodies. Remember, the world is full of malicious people, even more on the internet. Do not post a bath, for example. And also do not share intimate photos on groups of moms looking for some medical advice —reach out to a doctor to know if that little red spot on the children’s skin is really worth the trouble.
Hostile environment and facial recognition
Last, but not least, it is important to remember that everything you post is stored somewhere and by someone. In a facial recognition world, you might want to make sure your childrens face does not get to databases so early.
Also, the internet keeps all sorts of forums. Some of them are full with rate speech, buying and a vast world of unsafe for children content. It is almost impossible to create a really secure network, so think twice before allowing your children to go online.
It is important to know how to protect yourself and your family. For more on that, Cleverping has a page dedicated to help you find the best home security system.