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Internet Safety for Children



Internet safety refers to the understanding of the technology in the modern times, how users follow the guidelines and protect their devices against the dangers online.


Internet may provide many guidance and answers to a question. However, it is filled with dangerous consequences if the user does not know.


What does internet safety include?

As a user of internet, parents must understand what is internet, what is within the internet, what are the uses of internet and how internet works.


The understanding of internet includes internet coding, interaction on the website and if the connections are secure.


What is internet?

Internet refers to a system that reformed communications and commencing methods by connecting networks from all around the world.


It can be used for various intentions and is open to most of the people.


Communications between people can be done through social media platform, email, audio files and videos.


Information in the digital website can be found by others. Companies have done their businesses and services in a digital website to reach out to more consumers.


Behaviours in internet safety

In order for a child to understand safe choices, the parents must have the knowledge to understand the actions and information on the internet.


Confirming one’s identity

Identification of a person can be created easily on the internet.


To create an identity in a social media platform, one have to use an email and a fake name.


Fake identities are common as it takes a few steps to complete in a platform.


Identities can be confirmed through searching for their name in the search engines and social networks.


LinkedIn’s social profile is difficult to fake. It requires the user to put a resume in order for them to join the network. Profiles are found to be suspicious when it provides little information about the user.


Other social media platforms have ways to identify an imposter. For example, a profile with no friends on Facebook, no followers in a Twitter account and photos only of selfies on Instagram are found to be suspicious.


Checking if the link is secure

To know if the link is safe, one must understand the letters in the beginning of a URL.


HTTP is an unsecure URL link, a website that is a throwaway and used in a malicious way.


HTTPS is a secure URL link, a website that is trusted and maintained properly.


URL link can be hovered over, to check if the embedded link in the text the same URL. However, do note that some link will not be the same. Take caution and do not click on the different links.


Identification of scams online

Scams is from an unknown source that instructs the user to take an action. It can be done through emails, messages, or text messages. Most of the scams will ask users to click on links.


The offer may look promising and rewarding. However, behind the looks, it can be malware, virus, ransomware, or some other software programs that are harmful to the users.


Protection of privacy

In the past, people are warned to not put personal information (name, address, numbers, etc) in online platforms.


In the present time, social media platform require personal information to be used. Users ought to be wary when they publish their personal information online.


Certain personal information should be hidden or removed from search engines. This prevents an invasion of privacy by unwanted people.


The creation and usage of passwords

Passwords are commonly used in various services on an online platform. This protects the user's privacy and the integrity of the information.


To create a password that is strong, it includes:


  1. Letters, numbers, and other characters.

  2. More than 10 characters long.

  3. Words that are not related to any personal information.

  4. Easy to memorize.

  5. Difficult to find out.

  6. Not commonly seen.


Users may run out of ideas on creating new strong passwords. They may use reliable password creating websites to create their passwords. For example, LastPass.com.


Cyberbully

Cyberbullying refers to bullies using online social media platforms to harass the victims.


Messages and emails that are malicious, spreading rumours and gossips, or posting images and videos are shared to embarrass the victims.


To identify cyberbullying, it includes offensive jokes, insults, and repeated harassment. As social media is used commonly in the present time, the effects will be disastrous on the victims.


Good digital citizenship

Users ought to learn how to make a safe choice when they use internet.


Gathering knowledge of the latest information about technology, understanding internet and knowing about the warnings are important.


With this knowledge, users becomes responsible and are making the first step to become a good digital citizen.


How to use and understand safe technology?

Safe technology protects the user’s devices.


Understanding safe technology protects the user’s life.


It is essential for users to know how to protect themselves from online risks in their lives. They should:


  1. Understand internet code. E.g. HTML, Java, CSS, Python, Ruby, etc.

  2. Use ad blockers.

  3. Identify connections that are secure.

  4. Use Virtual Personal Networks (VPN).

  5. Understand the value of personal data.

  6. Know when their personal data is being used and collected.

  7. Learn how their personal data is being advertised.


How does parents impart knowledge about internet safety to their child?

52% of the children (as young as 18 months old) are found to be exposed to electronics and digital devices in Singapore.


With the knowledge about internet, behaviours and safe technology, parents may teach their child about the risks and actions that are acceptable online.


Precautions need to be taught to children for them to have better online experience. Especially if they use social media platforms to communicate with others.


Types of internet risks

Children will be unaware of the risks that appear on the internet. They should be educated about the types of risk online. This includes content risks, contact risks, conduct risks and contract risks.


Content risks refer to things on the internet that are uncomfortable to see. For example, it can be sexual contents and images of cruelty to animals.


Contact risks refer to communication with others who are not known or people posing as children in the social media platform. Children can be asked to share private data to them or to meet the unknown person in real life.


Conduct risks refer to children posing a threat to others with their behaviour or becoming the victim. This includes a child buying things online or making purchases within an app.


Contract risks refer to children signing contracts that are not fair to them, or if they do not understand what they had done.


How parents can protect their child?

Various strategies can be used by parents to protect their child from internet risks. Such examples are:


  1. Setting up a family media plan.

  2. Using child-friendly search engines, content providers, games, websites, and television programs.

  3. Parents monitoring and being aware of their child when they are using online social media platforms.

  4. Setting up parental controls, privacy settings and location services on the browsers.

  5. Lessen functions of videos or camera when the child uses the electronic device.

  6. Create more profiles for streaming services to prevent the child from seeing offensive things.

  7. Disable purchases within an app and payment options on the devices.

  8. Parents encouraging their child, along with their siblings, to be responsible and practice internet safety consistently. E.g. Watching videos that are suitable for their age.

  9. Parents acting as a role model while teaching their child about safe and responsible behaviour online.

  10. Using online platforms with their child to do activities.

  11. Parents exploring suitable contents online with their child.

  12. Parents discussing the behaviours online with their child.

  13. Encourage children to not communicate and share private details with strangers online.


Parents should be open about internet uses with their child. Displaying trust between them and the child helps to improve the relationship.


Children are more likely to share what they experience to their parents and be responsible online.


However, strict monitoring and usage of surveillance apps will discourage your child to be truthful about their experience. The child will learn that their parents do not trust them, and this will result in relationship issues in the future.



I hope the information available helps you to understand more about internet and how to teach your child to practise internet safety.





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Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 S(520433)



Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 S(520433)



Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)


Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293

Whatsapp: wa.me/6596664141

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