Teens may keep their online activities private, but they must be protected from online hazards. We look into how to build trust and encourage safer internet activity. When did you first start using the internet for pleasure, communication, and information? reading demographics, it’s safe to assume that many of you were already adults when social media and online multiplayer gaming became popular. I grew up during the social media era, so I already had a network of friends with whom I spoke IRL, but I also had the option of making new friends and experiencing new things online.
For today’s youth, separating offline and online buddies is nearly impossible. Teens are always online and linked to everything and everyone. Kids use the internet all day at school, and when they go home, they utilize it to consume a variety of forms of entertainment, create relationships, and begin to form personal identities.
Many of today’s kids began accessing the internet regularly on their mobile devices between the ages of 15 and 16, according to a global survey conducted by McAfee(Opens in a new window). That’s an unusually young age to be granted complete access to the internet. Teens want to be safe online, so they make their parents’ job easier, right? Obviously not.
According to the study, more than half of teen respondents (59%) say they hide their online activity by clearing their browser histories, hiding or deleting chat messages and videos, browsing incognito mode, using a device that their parents don’t check, or simply lying or omitting details about what they are doing online in conversations with their parents.
Read More: How to Set Up MetaMask in Your Browser
So, how can parents keep their secretive teenagers safe while they’re online?
Creating Secure Connections
The best answer to the question above will most likely vary every household, but it should all begin with a lengthy discussion. Puri explained, “Parents must provide a safe environment for their children to have open and honest dialogues regarding their online activities. Understanding family members’ internet habits and behavior will benefit everyone in the family.
It could be a discussion about setting time limits on gaming devices, or it could be a discussion about installing software to keep everyone safe.” The family’s online safety procedures should therefore be considered by parents. According to the report, just 56% of parents protect their smartphone with a password, while this number reduces to 42% for smartphones held by their children.
If an unlocked smart device is lost or stolen, or if accounts are compromised, failing to protect devices or online accounts with the greatest security available might result in data theft. Install an antivirus to prevent kids from accidently infecting your home gadgets with malware while they surf, and use parental control software to prevent kids from accessing risky websites in the first place.
Finally, Puri stressed the importance of teaching all children how to respond to cyberbullying, hacking, and phishing efforts. “Our research shows that females are frequently more safeguarded online by their parents than boys, but guys have more troubles online,” he said.
About 23% of parents think they will check their daughter’s surfing and email history on a PC when she is 10 to 14. It’s only 16 percent for guys. This gap is seen once again, with 22% of parents restricting access to certain sites for girls and only 16% for boys. We need to improve. All youngsters must be protected.
How to Keep Your Family Safe Online
What will your family’s strategy be? To get you started, here’s a list of six action items.
Discover how to defend yourself.
Antivirus software is essential for internet security, but a software security suite that protects both your PC and your mobile devices is much better. Firewall protection, a password manager, phishing detection, and a VPN are all included in the finest security suites.
Learn how to keep your online identity safe.
According to McAfee’s research, 15% of children have suffered attempted account theft, while 28% of parents have experienced it. Your family’s accounts and personal information are monitored for unlawful or suspicious activity by an identity protection service.
Take the time to secure your gadgets.
Protect your family’s mobile devices with a PIN or other security features such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning. Wherever practical, employ multi-factor authentication in apps.
Use strong passwords to secure your accounts.
Each account should have its own password. Hackers will have a harder time compromising several accounts as a result of this. A password manager will take care of everything for you, creating and storing strong, unique passwords.
Update your software and devices as needed.
Updating your operating systems and apps will keep you up to date on the latest features and advancements while also allowing you to stay one step ahead of hackers. Security fixes and enhancements are included in many operating system and app updates, preventing bad actors from exploiting any weaknesses or loopholes on your devices.
Continue to communicate with your relatives.
Include a few inquiries about what’s going on online when talking with your kids about their day. What are their current favorite games and apps? What are they viewing on TV? Is there a hilarious video or post they’d want to share? These questions will help you have a better understanding of their world and will help them feel more comfortable discussing their private online life with their parents.