- Children should be guided through and Kaspersky, a Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, outlines five habits for parents to help their children adjust to the internet.
- Even though traits of violence or aggression are directly linked with an abusive home, sometimes what children watch or listen to can shape these traits.
A cybersecurity company has recommended to parents to teach their children five digital practices.
The practices are aimed at equipping children with the skills they need to protect themselves online, especially now that they are on a long holiday.
This is because of the growing digital world where everyone is using the internet to learn new skills as well as being conversant with the technology.
However, children should be guided through and Kaspersky, a Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, outlines five habits for parents to help their children adjust to the internet.
Create a device-free time zone: Designating time for no use of devices helps break addiction tendencies. Internet is very addictive and can lead to inactivity in children.
“Internet should not take the place of social network. Allow your child to be a child, mingle with others, play without using devices as sources of entertainment all the time. Balance is key, ”says Joan Kirera, a child psychologist and therapist.
2. Take control of the charger: Have your children leave their devices outside of the bedroom, such as in the hallway or kitchen. This way, the device’s battery is always charged in the morning and your children will not be able to watch videos from the various social media platforms before going to bed.
3. Pay attention to information security and similar issues: Internet offers a myriad of challenges to consumers from threats such as fraud, personal data theft, identity theft, and recognizing sites that contain harmful content. This can be mitigated by warning your children against visiting suspicious websites.
This is through them not entering passwords or any personal information on those sites, not clicking links, and not downloading apps from unofficial app stores. Additionally, hooking them up with Communications Authority of Kenya’s (CA) game dubbed Cyber Soljas.
The game which is targeting children aged four to 14 aims at enabling children to develop a critical approach towards information found on the internet.
4. Aim for sustainable media use: Limit notifications on your children’s phones so that they are not distracted while doing homework or other assigned tasks.
5. Follow digital etiquette: Talk to your children about some expectations before going online. For instance, guide them on which platforms they can communicate with formally- email or informally-SMS or WhatsApp.
However, as much as digital practices are helpful, Joan says that a child below three years should not be predisposed to the internet.
“A child below three years is too young and the internet can affect how their brain develops,” she adds.
Parents or guardians also need to know what their children are watching or listening to online. Even though traits of violence or aggression are directly linked with an abusive home, sometimes what children watch or listen to can shape these traits.
“Overuse of social platform can create pressure on children as a result of not having what other children have and in turn, the children get depressed or stressed. Additionally, children can learn vulgar languages if their caregivers are not keen on what they are watching / listening to, ”Joan says.