Online Safety for Kids: How to Protect Your Children On the Internet

How to ensure your children’s safety online? As a responsible parent, you should be aware of what your children see and hear on the Internet, who they know, and what they share online. Check out some of the most common dangers kids face online and the top 10 online safety tips to make sure that the Internet is a positive experience for kids.

3 Common Online Threats for Kids

Kids are the most active Internet users. If you want to allow your kids to surf the Internet, it’s important to educate them about the knowledge of online threats first. Here are the top 3 common online threats for kids:

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying

  • Nearly 34% of children aged 12-17 have been cyberbullied in their lives, and 11.5% have bullied others online. Cyberbullying is an aggressive, threatening or despicable activity conducted through electronic communications (email, social media posts, text messages, etc). Girls are more likely to be victims of cyberbullying, and an increasing number of boys have admitted to bullying others online.
Online predators

Online predators

  • Adults who use the Internet to induce child sexual or other forms of abuse are considered online predators. Girls accounted for the majority (78%) of child victims of phishing while the majority (82%) of online predators were men.
inappropriate content

Exposure to inappropriate content

  • Inappropriate content is one of the most common online threats children encounter. From hate speech to violent or sexual images, everything can have a detrimental effect on a vulnerable child. More than 55% of children have been exposed to violent content on the Internet, while nearly 60% have come across sexually explicit words or images.

Top 10 Online Safety Tips for Kids

1Understand the Online Risks

The Internet can be a dangerous place for children. Your children may be exposed to lots of online risks such as cyberbullying, child predators, online scams and so on. In order to keep your children safe online and avoid the negative effects of the Internet, you need to learn and understand the following online risks with your children.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is the use of digital communication tools to make someone angry, sad or scared. The damage caused by cyberbullying through social media is as serious as other forms of bullying.

Online sexual predators

Online sexual predators are individuals who sexually exploit children over the Internet. They will try to introduce sexual behaviors, showing them pornography, and asking for sexually explicit information and pictures. In fact, they often use promises of love and romance to induce children to meet and commit sexual abuse.

Online scams

Online scam is a type of fraud or deception that makes use of the Internet. Scams can happen via phishing emails, social media, SMS messages on mobile phones. The scammer will steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, addresses, and more.

Privacy risk

Children without security concern may post their personal information online. The private information is likely to be exploited by malicious people online. Personal information that needs to be kept private includes home address, phone number, ID number, etc. Sharing too much private information may expose your children to online dangers.

How to Talk to Your Kids about Online Risks?

  • Search for “common online risks” and learn how to cope with them.
  • Show your children news/stories about online risks.
  • Discuss the bad consequences of the online risks.
online risks

2Establish Parental Control Rules on Phones and Computers

Establish restrictions and rules for using digital devices in a positive way, and let your children learn to follow the rules so that they can stay safe online.

Parental Control Rules on Phones and Computers

  • 1. Require breaks to give their eyes a rest from the screen.
  • 2. Limit the available period of phones and computers.
  • 3. Limit available apps and games.
  • 4. Ask your children to share their social accounts with you.

How to Set up Parental Controls on iOS?

  • 1. Go to Settings and tap Screen Time.
  • 2. Tap Continue, then choose “This is My [Device]” or “This is My Child’s [Device].” Follow the prompts until you get to Parent Passcode and enter a passcode. Re-enter the passcode to confirm.
  • 3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. If asked, enter your passcode, then turn on Content & Privacy.

How to Set up Parental Controls on Android?

  • 1. Go to Settings and tap Add Users.
  • 2. You will be prompted to designate this as a User or Restricted Profile account; select Restricted Profile.
  • 3. Once the Restricted Profile populates, you’ll see it listed at the top of the screen. Click the Settings icon to the right of New Profile to give your Restricted Profile a name.
  • 4. Under the new Restricted user profile, you will see a list of available apps and functions on the device. Manually select On or Off for those apps or functions you wish to allow or restrict.
parental controls

3Establish Privacy Rules

Disclosure of personal information can lead to identity theft, potential online scams, or even physical threats. In addition, sharing private information on the Internet can cause unnecessary attention, criticism, and your children may even become a victim of cyberbullying, sexual predators or online scams. To protect your children’s personal information, you need to establish privacy and security rules.

Privacy and Security Rules:

  1. Do not post any of your personal information online.
  2. Do not disclose any personal information during the chat process online.
  3. Don’t share your location online.
privacy rules

4Block Inappropriate Websites

Websites contains violence, pornography or adult content are inappropriate for kids. These websites may cause your children to commit illegal or dangerous behavior. 

Violence websites:

E.g: Roblox, Fortnite , PUBG MOBILE , Knives Out, League of Legends.

Adult websites:

E.g: Pornhub.com, Kink.com , YouJizz.com , 8Tube.xxx, Redtube.com.

Dating websites:

E.g: Ask.fm, Omegle.com, Match.com, OKCupid.com, Bumble.com.

How to Block Inappropriate Websites on iOS?

  • 1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  • 2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions and enter your Screen Time passcode.
  • 3. Tap Content Restrictions, then tap Web Content.
  • 4. Choose Unrestricted Access, Limit Adult Websites, or Allowed Websites Only.

How to Block Inappropriate Websites on Android?

  • 1. Go to Android Settings and then tap on “Network and Internet”.
  • 2. Next, tap on WiFi and tap on the gear icon beside your home Wi-Fi. On the next page, you will see an edit icon at the top-right corner, tap on it.
  • 3. Change IP settings from DHCP to Static. After that, you need to enter the IP Address and DNS 1, DNS 2 address as follows:
    IP Address: 192.168.1.105
    DNS 1: 208.67.222.123
    DNS 2: 208.67.220.123
  • 4. Create a free account in OpenDNS, then log in to the OpenDNS Dashboard. Click on the “Settings” tab.
  • 5. Next, either select your network from the dropdown list (Option 1) or click on your network’s IP address in the list (Option 2). Both options will lead to the same place.
inappropriate websites

5Block Dangerous Apps and Games

Apps and games used by adults may be dangerous to children. Children may inadvertently touch these applications which could expose them to the online threats.

Most dangerous app and games for kids:

E.g: Tinder, Snapchat, Kik, Roblox, Fortnite, PUBG MOBILE

How to Block Inappropriate Apps/Games on iOS?

  • 1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  • 2. Tap Screen Time.
  • 3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  • 4. Enter a four-digit passcode and then confirm it.
  • 5. Tap the switch next to Content & Privacy.
  • 6. Tap Allowed apps.
  • 7. Tap the switch(es) next to the app or apps you’d like to disable.

How to Block Inappropriate Apps/Games on Android with iKeyMonitor?

  • 1. Go to “Settings”“App Blocker”
  • 2. Touch App Blocker and enable it.
  • 3. Select apps you want to block from the given list.

(Note: Select “Automatically block/include new apps” if you want to block new apps installed later)

dangerous apps games

6Block Malicious People

Various malicious people exist on the Internet. They may be cyberbullies, online predators, cybercriminals. These people can make children feel hurt, fear, loneliness, jealousy and sadness, and more seriously, they may become victims of online predators.

Apps and contact methods commonly used by malicious people:

  1. Facebook
  2. WhatsApp
  3. Call
  4. SMS

How to Block Someone On Facebook Messenger?

  • 1. From Chats, open a conversation with the person you want to block.
  • 2. Tap their name at the top of the conversation.
  • 3. Scroll down and tap Block.

How to Block Someone on WhatsApp?

Android:
  • 1. Open the WhatsApp app on your phone.
  • 2. Tap the menu icon
  • 3. Go to Settings, then Account, then Privacy, then select Blocked Contacts.
  • 4. Tap the add contact icon – a small icon in the shape of a person with a plus sign on the left.
  • 5. A list will appear. Choose the contact you wish to block.
Apple:
  • 1. Open the WhatsApp app on your phone.
  • 2. If you have a chat open, navigate back to the main Chats screen.
  • 3. Select the Settings icon at the bottom right of the screen, then Account, then Privacy, then Blocked.
  • 4. Tap Add New and choose the contact you wish to block.

How to Block a Contact on iPhone?

  • 1. If you’re in the Phone app under Recents, tap (i) next to the phone number or contact that you want to block. Scroll to the bottom of your screen, then tap Block this Caller.
  • 2. More Info: https://support.apple.com/HT201229

How to Block a Contact on Android?

malicious people

7Don’t Meet Internet Friends

Friends who socialize with your children on the Internet may not be as friendly as you think. Even if they look friendly and tell you that they are children, they may be bad adults who pretend to be children. Just like socializing in real life, children should also be cautious on the Internet.

How to Prevent Children from Meeting Internet Friends?

Tell your children not to meet online friends for safety.

Show your kids negative news about meeting with Internet friends.

meet online friends

8Simulate Dangerous Scenes

Although your children already know about some of the online risks, it’s not enough. By simulating dangerous scenes in advance, your children can identify common online threats and deal with them appropriately.

Cyberbullying

For example, you may pretend to be a bully and use a chat app on their mobile phones to send malicious words to their children or leave unfriendly comments on children’s posts.

Online scam

For example, you may pretend to be an online scammer and use social media to communicate with children and ask for their personal information and money.

Dangerous Internet Friends

For example, you may pretend to be an Internet friend and chat with children on the Internet and ask children to meet you in real life.

dangerous scenes

9Avoid Online Scams

Prize Scams

This scam tries to deceive unsuspecting victims and convince them that they have won a lot of money in games, lotteries or sweepstakes that they have never participated in. Scammers may use social media messages or emails to contact victim.

Romance Scams

In romance scam, cybercriminals often initiate conversations and start online relationships on online dating sites, but always they can’t meet with victims in person. After gaining victim’s trust, they will ask for money or detailed information about victim’s financial situation.

Phishing scams

Fraudsters can create and publish fake websites that look real or duplicate existing websites. Visiting these websites or clicking on the links in false emails may result in information theft.

How to Avoid Online Scams:

  1. Tell your children about popular online scams.
  2. Tell your children not to respond to scam messages.
  3. Back up the data on your children’s devices.
  4. Tell your children to think twice before clicking on any link/pop-up online.
  5. Ask your children not to give personal information. 
  6. Install antivirus software(Eg: Avast Mobile Security, BitDefender Antivirus Free, Norton Security & Antivirus ).
online scams

10Monitor Your Children’s Online Activities

Online child predators, cyberbullying and dangerous Internet challenges are targeting your children online. So it’s important to understand how your children use the Internet and what they do online.

Online Activities That You Should Monitor:

  1. Apps/games/websites used
  2. Viewed photos/videos
  3. Contacts in the address book
  4. People who they have frequently contacted online
  5. Information shared on the Internet

How to Monitor Your Children’s Online Activities?

Install a parental monitoring app such as iKeyMonitor

monitor online activities

iKeyMonitor – Monitor and Protect Kids online

iKeyMonitor allows you to monitor your children’s online activities on iPhone and Android devices. It enables you to spy on SMS text messages, popular social chat apps, websites visited, photos and screenshots, GPS locations and more. It also allows you to block dangerous apps and games on your children’s devices. Besides, you will get instant alerts when something inappropriate happens on their phones.

Monitor SMS, Whatsapp, Facebook, Snapchat and more

Monitor SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat and more

  • iKeyMonitor allows you to monitor SMS text messages, popular social chat apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, WeChat and more. Chat monitoring is an effective way to detect the signs of cyberbullying, sexual predators and online scams.
Spy on photos

Spy on photos

  • The photo monitoring feature allows you to view the photos taken by camera and the captured screenshots saved in the photo album. These photos tell you what your children have done recently, where they have been and who they are playing with. If a stranger appears or your children add a new place in the album, you need to pay attention.
Track website visited

Track websites visited

  • This feature allows you to monitor websites visited on your children’s devices. It enables you to quickly determine if your children have visited any harmful websites, such as sites that contain pornographic or violent content.
Take Screenshots

Take screenshots

  • iKeyMonitor smartly takes screenshots of the activities on your children’s devices. It uploads the images to your online account and generates visual slideshow videos for you to easily view everything on the phone or tablets.
Block apps and games

Block apps and games

  • iKeyMonitor App blocker can restrict apps and games on iPhone(Jailbroken) and Android devices. You can block the dangerous apps or games all the time and limit the screen time in bedtime or homework time and set up daily maximum usage time. In this way, you can protect your kids’ eyesight and keep them away from harmful apps and games.
Get alerted

Get alerted about dangerous or inappropriate activities

  • With this feature, you are able to get instant notifications when your children are doing something dangerous or inappropriate on the Internet. In this way, you can take measures to protect your children from potential dangers.