How to Keep Your Children Safe Online by Craig Middleton

How to Keep Your Children Safe Online by Craig Middleton offers some specifics that parents can attend to as they try to keep the kids safe while they spend increased time online. Be sure to click on the links in this article for detailed advice.

Protecting Kids
Keeping your children safe online is more important than ever. With education and entertainment being online, kids use the computer more often than ever before. While using common sense can keep kids out of a lot of trouble, parents still need to monitor their children’s internet usage. Below are some handy tips that can help both kids and parents stay safer online.

Use Multi-factor Authentication

  • One way to keep kids safer online is to use multi-factor authentication. So, what is multi-factor authentication? To put it simply, multi-factor authentication is when people need to provide more than one credential (like a password) before they can access their account. Often, codes sent to email accounts or via text serve as the second authentication as do pictures and answers to questions that hackers wouldn’t know.
  • How does the use of multi-factor authentication help to protect kids? Kids tend not to pick the most complicated passwords. This makes it easy for hackers to break into their accounts. By using multi-factor authentication, it makes it a lot harder for hackers. Whenever a site allows users to enable multi-factor authentication on their accounts, take them up on their offer. It is usually free and can do a lot to protect your children’s accounts.

Set Up Parental Controls

  • If a parent knows that there are certain websites they do not want their children going on (whether the websites are too adult or for some other reason), then parents can set up parental controls on their computer. These controls can block specific computer accounts (like their child’s) from accessing certain websites.
  • There are a variety of services that can help parents to set up parental controls. Schools often use these services to prevent students from using social media websites or other distracting or educational sites. Parents can also set up parental controls on their internet browsers.

Warn of Stranger Danger

  • Not everyone tells the truth about who they are online. Someone may claim to be the same age as a child, but really be an ill-intentioned adult. For this reason, it is best that parents warn their children of “online” stranger danger. If possible, parents should encourage their children not to talk to anyone online unless they already know them in real life. Talking to school friends on apps is safe, but talking to someone they “met” while playing video games online might not be safe. When in doubt, tell children not to talk to anyone online.
  • Luckily, there are some good apps that kids can use to talk to each other. Facebook has created a messenger app specifically for kids. They can use this app to talk to friends and play games online, safely. This app, and others like it, can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or in the Google Play store for free.

Don’t Save Credit Card Information

  • Sometimes internet browsers will save credit card information to make purchases faster so you do not need to re-enter information each time you buy something. However, if parents have a child who uses the same internet account, the child would automatically have the credit card information saved. While this is not inherently dangerous to the child, it can negatively impact their parent’s wallets.
  • Young kids, especially, may not know that it is not okay to spend their parent’s money without asking. This can be extra confusing for kids when they do not see the money. For example, they may know it is not okay to take money from their mother’s purse, but since they cannot see the money when they use a credit card online, they may not register that they are spending real money. Parents would do well to explain that credit cards do spend real money. In the meantime, not saving credit card, debit card, or PayPal/Venmo information online can help prevent kids from making purchases online.
  • If you want to keep your kids safe online, keep these tips in mind. These little things can do a lot to keep your kids from getting hacked, getting into trouble with strangers, and more.

Craig Middleton

  • Craig is a New York City-based retired business consultant, who is an expert in education and cultural trends. He has a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters in Education from St. Johns and loves sharing his knowledge on the side through his writing. If you have any questions or comments you can direct them to Craig at
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