Internet Safety For Kids: Protecting the Most Vulnerable Ones. Useful Tips to Keep Children Safe

Brad Smith - Editorial Staff

Updated: July 24, 2020

Internet Safety Laws

In the USA, there are federal laws protecting kids using the Internet when they are not 13 years of age still. These are called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The idea behind these laws is simple. They protect children from adults who want to get private data from them. And who do not ask for parents’ consent?So, every site should have, for example, a disclaimer to get permission from adults before asking for information.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

Coppa means the Children’s Online Privacy Protect Act, another law that stands for more than 20 years. Also, in 2013, the children’s security protocol was updated. For example, it gives parents permission to give consent before youngsters give their information on a website. And it also has results for schools, teachers, and educators when it comes to children’s Internet safety. They need to be prepared to give out data about the law. Plus, to give their students the help they need if the fall in the hands of predators.

Websites Covered by COPPA Include:

Flaws with COPPA:

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

The letters CIPA account for the Children’s Protection Act of 2000. In this law, the authorities regulate the way in which schools and other establishments use the web. For example, they should have a clear safety policy with filters and other software. This will protect people attending the school from obscene content, porn, violent or graphic images, and other things that they should not see at their age.

CIPA Needs a Policy That:

Flaws with CIPA:

Useful Online Protection Tools: Internet Safety for Kids Guaranteed

Luckily, today there is software that allows parents and adults to keep their children away from electronic harm. That includes inappropriate content and even criminals lurking online. First of all, providers usually have filters and blockers for families. Also, there many options to restrict forms that ask for personal info out there. So, follow these Internet safety tips for kids.

Online Protection Tools
  • Client-Side Filters for Parents. These are the ones persons have to install on their own devices. Using passwords, they get to decide what types of websites they want their kids to access. For example, these can be set up in tablets and phones.
  • Filters From Providers. Instead of products, these filters apply to IPs. This means that anyone who logs in using the network of the house will have the filter. That’s very useful in case parents have many children and several devices.
  • Search Engine Filters. Finally, these ones regulate how Google, Bing, or other searchers work. Adults need to define the terms they do not want minors to access.

Internet Safety Guidelines for Kids and Parents

Internet safety is crucial in the world of today. Most children have tablets or mobile devices, even when they are very young. And social media is popular among teens. So, families at times have no other choice than to allow their use. Yet, there are some measures they can take to set rules and control them. And even to support those who are in trouble afterward.

Set Clear Guidelines for Minors to Use Online

So, when children want to get online, at times, there is no more remedy than allow them. But it is very useful to let them know what they can and cannot do. Because those rules will be for their own safety. Let’s see what experts recommend.

  • Set Specific Rules. Every family should have clear guidelines of what children can and cannot do. For example, in which schedules they are allowed to use the net.
  • Don’t Share any Personal Content. Photos and headshots are dangerous. Predators and criminals can identify minors using those images and target them afterward.
  • Tell Them Not to Use Their Real Name. It’s better to come up with an invented one, and the same for the photo. Use a character or an animal instead of a headshot.
  • Ask Them Never to Meet With Anyone They Don’t Know. In particular, if that stranger tells them not to tell adults or other family members.
  • In the Case of Bullying, Don’t Respond. It’s best to have a parent talk to keep them safe. And to give children information about how not to make bullies angrier.
  • Don’t Pay Attention to Online Ads. Those pages that ask for contact data or search for other info are dangerous, and parents should make that clear.
  • Talk to Minors About Social Media. Many kids use the media to have fun at home. And to play games. But it’s crucial they understand that there are strangers out there who may want to talk to them.

How to Supervise Without Intrusion

After setting up some guidelines, it’s clear that adults will have to help them enforce these rules. Though it’s also important not to overwhelm them. People who feel under pressure will close down. And will not say what is going on. Follow this sort of Internet safety kit for more measures.

  • Spend time with kids. Pay attention to what they do and set patterns for how they behave. This will help in knowing if they are having issues or feel stressed.
  • Get familiar with the sites they regularly use. This can help in knowing if they are breaking the law or not.
  • Take the children seriously. If they claim they are unwell or if they feel uncomfortable, adults should trust them. And report this to the authorities.
  • Have the contact info of their friends and peers. Parents should know where to search for warning signs. And who to ask in case of emergencies.
  • Revise the browsing history of children below 8. The home and search pages of Chrome and Mozilla can give parents some data about what they are doing to check it’s not dangerous.
  • The computer should never be in a private room. It might be best to put it in the living room. Or another common space where adults can watch over.

Pay Attention to Signs of Abuse

Apart from monitoring, families should educate themselves about warning signs. That is proof that minors are going through difficult situations and need help. Always keep the communication channel open. And let them know who they can talk to in case of problems.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online: Some Pieces of Advice

The task to keep people secure when it comes to Internet safety. Without any help, it might feel a bit too much for adults. But don’t fret. With these tips and pieces of advice, it will be easier for families to monitor online activity. And to feel they are not alone in these efforts.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

1. Be the One Who Talks About the Issue

The more communication, the better. And the best thing is to be open about the risks that the use of the net entails. For example, they should know that there are sites that have content they should not be seeing. But it’s crucial to explain to them that they will not be punished or taken in less regard if they tell an adult about it.

2. Teach Them to Defend Themselves

Maybe this doesn’t happen when kids are 3-7 years old. But once they know how to read and write, they are at a bigger riks. If they use social media or chat rooms, they can meet strangers online. And these people might want to take advantage of them. Teach them never to give info to these unknown persons.

3. Understand How the Law Works

The federal law protects persons under 13 years old from phishing. That is, stealing personal details by companies or websites. But these laws will only apply if the kid enters a site that is intended for minors. If they lie when entering a page for adults, then they won’t be protected by it.

4. Do Not Use Computer in Bedrooms

Bedrooms are usually private areas for family members. And it would not be nice for a mother or father to enter all the time to see what their boys or girls are doing. Yet, if they place the computer in the living room, it’s much easier to monitor without privacy issues.

5. Filters Are Your Friends

Even common browsers like Mozilla or Chrome have filters for parental control. This means that adults are in control of the sites that their families visit. And it also allows them to know and measure how much time they spend on the computer. Plus, there are similar functions used for mobile devices.

6. Careful With Personal Data

There are official organizations that want to know sensible info. Like the routine of the child or even their social security number. Be wary when giving this to them. Because it might happen that they end up disclosing that data in wrong contexts. Or that the person falls victim to a scam.

7. Social Security Numbers and Credit Reports Should Be Protected

Among abuse and crimes is identity theft. And social security numbers are among the measures for Internet safety for kids. So, criminals might use that number to get a credit card, and the parents might never know until they need it. So, a father or mother can freeze their credit report, depending on the state they live in.

8. Know More About FERPA

This organization protects families from getting their data stolen. In this way, schools and other official institutions have to ask FERPA for permission before sharing reports, for example. Even if they will be sharing these documents with other official organizations.

9. Don’t Give Info Even to Other Members of the Family

Today, stats show that almost 30% of ID thefts come from other family members. Shocking, right? Following these numbers, then, important documents should be kept private. And this is especially important in the case of teens. Who used to be reckless in these regards.

10. Have Clear Limits About Data

Let your family know what is appropriate to post online and what isn’t. For example, it might be the case that a teen is proud of his first driver’s license. So, they decide to post a photo online. Yet, this might be dangerous because they don’t know who might be seeing the picture. Or stealing it.

Steps to Take If Your Child Has Been Exposed to Inappropriate Content

It might happen that children are exposed to content they should not have seen. Even after all the protection. But fathers and mothers should:

So, Some Tips to Consider When Dealing With Such a Situation Are:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What to Do About a Cyberbully?

    In case it’s possible, the best thing to do about a cyberbully is to ignore him or her. The bullied should not respond to aggression. Because that will encourage the abuser to keep on doing it. Of course, the victim should also resort to adults and school teachers, for example. They will also be prepared to help the ones being abused to recover. And not to suffer from bullying again, helping with Internet safety measures.

  • What If It Looks Like a Site or Service Is Breaking the Rules?

    If that happens, anyone can report the web to the FCT. It’s quite simple to make a complaint. And it can be online. There are many ways in which the sites can break the law. For example, not asking for the parents’ permission when asking minors their date of birth.

  • Which Are Smartphone Tips for Students?

    Some things should be considered when using smartphones for Internet safety. In particular, when the user is a child.

    • Do not add strangers to the contacts list. They will be able to access other info from them.
    • Don’t put personal details out there (like address, birthday, or other info that can be of use to criminals when they search for them).
    • Be careful when uploading photos or other content online. Social media can be dangerous for the future. Make it hard for criminals to find contact data when they search for it.
    • Try to be polite and don’t be a bully.

  • Why Is Internet Safety Important?

    Because it protects every user, especially minors, they will be kept safe from harm. That includes theft of important contact data, such as name or age – economic protection (so they do not use their parents’ credit cards without permission). And they are even keeping predators away to save kids from abuse.

Filter for Security Today

It’s clear that keeping minors safe from harm today is a challenge. Not only on the streets or outside, but when using devices, laptops, or phones. The Internet is everywhere in our lives, in particular when children play games or when teens speak to strangers. Internet safety guidelines, filters, and even laws are here to help. Adults only need to be responsible and take care of their families, and they will reduce every risk at home.

Editorial Staff

Brad has worked as a sales manager in the security sector for 10 years. He is curious, attentive to details, and hard-working. He has dedicated several years to helping customers with their safety and protection. His background has helped Brad to write comprehensive security and life safety materials, which he has been writing for about 4 years. Brad has contributed work to The Washington Post, DailyJournal, Los Angeles Times, and many others.