We encounter countless messages and calls from unknown contacts on a daily basis. It is best to avoid those messages and calls, specially if its a suspicious link, or a call from a suspicious number.
Always check for the country code when receiving a call from an unknown number. The country code for India is 91.
Beware of the selfie camera
Always keep the selfie camera setting turned off. You can always switch it on once you are sure the call is from a known person.
Avoid unknown groups
We are all added to an unknown WhatsApp group once in a while. It is best to leave the group as soon as possible to avoid a potential security breach.
The options in the privacy settings allows users to make their profile completely private. Users can choose to make their profile picture, status and last seen visible to everyone, contacts only or to nobody. It is best to choose the ‘contacts only’ option.
There are four main kinds of internet risks for children.
Content risks For school-age children these risks include things that they might find upsetting, disgusting or otherwise uncomfortable, if they come across them accidentally. This might include sexual content in games, pornography, images of cruelty to animals, and real or simulated violence.
Contact risks These risks include children coming into contact with people they don’t know or with adults posing as children online. For example, a child might be persuaded to share personal information with strangers, provide contact details after clicking on pop-up messages, or meet in person with someone they’ve met online.
Conduct risks These risks include children acting in ways that might hurt others, or being the victim of this kind of behaviour. For example, a child might destroy a game that a friend or sibling has created. Another conduct risk is accidentally making in-app purchases.
Contract risks These risks include children signing up to unfair contracts, terms or conditions that they aren’t aware of or don’t understand. For example, children might click a button that allows a business to send them inappropriate marketing messages or collect their personal or family data. Or children might use a toy, app or device with weak internet security, which leaves them open to identity theft or fraud.
Protecting children from internet safety risks: tips You can use a range of different strategies to help your school-age child stay safe online.
Here are some ideas:
Create a family media plan. It’s best to create your plan with your child and ask them for suggestions. Your plan could cover things like screen-free areas in your house, internet safety rules like not giving out personal information, and programs and apps that are OK for your child to use. Use child-friendly search engines like Kiddle or Kidtopia, or content providers like ABC Kids, CBeebies, YouTube Kids and KIDOZ, or messaging apps like Messenger Kids. Check that games, websites and TV programs are appropriate for your child. You can do this by looking at reviews on Common Sense Media. Use the internet with your child or make sure you’re close by and aware of what your child is doing online. This way you can act quickly and reassure your child if they’re concerned or upset by something they’ve seen online. Check privacy settings and location services, use parental controls, and use safe search settings on browsers, apps, search engines and YouTube. Limit camera and video functions so your child doesn’t accidentally take photos of themselves or others. If you use TV streaming services, set up profiles for different household members so your child is less likely to come across inappropriate programs. Find out how to make complaints about offensive online content. Block in-app purchases and disable one-click payment options on your devices. Encourage all your children, including older siblings, to help each other use the internet safely and responsibly – for example, by watching only age-appropriate programs. Trust between you and your child helps keep your child safe online. Calm, open conversations about internet use can help your child feel that you trust them to be responsible online. And if your child feels trusted, they’re more likely to talk with you about what they do online and tell you about online content and contacts that worry them.
It’s best to avoid using surveillance apps that let you secretly monitor your child’s online activity. Using these apps sends the message that you don’t trust your child. It’s better to talk openly about your own internet use and encourage your child to do the same.
If you do choose to monitor your child’s internet use while they’re online or by reviewing their browser history, it’s good to talk about this with your child.
As your child gets older and more confident and starts using the internet independently, you’ll need to review your strategies. Our article on internet safety for children aged 9-11 years has ideas.
Teaching safe and responsible online behaviour You can help your child learn how to use the internet safely, responsibly and enjoyably. If you teach your child how to manage internet safety risks and worrying experiences, your child will build digital resilience. This is the ability to deal with and respond positively to any risks they encounter online.
You can do this by:
going online with your child talking with your child about online content and listening to their views being a good role model teaching your child to be careful with personal information teaching your child to avoid online purchases talking about appropriate online behaviour. Going online with children Going online with your child gives you the opportunity to see the apps or games your child plays, or the videos they watch.
You can share your child’s experience while also checking that the content is appropriate. One way to do this is by asking questions that show interest in what your child is doing – for example, ‘That looks like an interesting game. Can you teach me to play too?’
You can also show your child sites that are fun, interesting or educational and show your child how to bookmark them for later. You could help your child find information they need for homework by using the right kind of search words. For example, for information on a school project about how people lived in the past, your child might use a phrase like ‘life in Australia in the 1900s’, rather than ‘past life’.
If you come across pop-up advertisements while you’re online together, it’s a good opportunity to talk with your child about not clicking them. You can explain that pop-up ads can lead to sites with unpleasant pictures or sites that want your personal or financial information.
Talking about online content It’s a good idea to explain to your child that the internet has all sorts of content and that some of it isn’t for children.
You could explain that there are parental controls, safe browsing settings and internet filters set up on most devices to protect children from inappropriate content. But these are not a guarantee and your child could still come across inappropriate content.
So it’s also a good idea to encourage your child to talk to you or another trusted adult if they see something that worries them. For example, you might say, ‘Sometimes people put horrible things on the internet. Some of it’s made up and some of it’s real. If you see anything that upsets you or makes you feel uncomfortable, let me know’.
If you name things to look out for, it can help your child identify unsuitable material. For example, ‘If you see a site with upsetting, scary or rude pictures, swearing or angry words, let me know. It’s not a good site for you to look at’.
You could also explain that not all information on the internet is true or helpful – for example, some news is made up. Encouraging your child to question things they find on the internet helps your child develop the ability to tell whether a website has good-quality information. This is an important part of digital and media literacy.
Being a good role model Your child learns from you. This means you can model safe and healthy internet use by using digital media in the way you want your child to use it now and in the future. For example, you might keep internet-connected devices out of bedrooms, and use technology for positive purposes like sending supportive messages to friends.
Taking care with privacy and personal information It’s a good idea to make sure your child knows not to communicate online with people they don’t know in person. This is particularly important if your child is using in-game social networks. For example, gaming sites like Roblox and Minecraft are targeted at children but have messaging features that might allow strangers to communicate with your child.
Encourage your child to:
tell you if someone they don’t know contacts them online not give out personal information. You could say, ‘Some people online are fakers. Never tell anyone online your name, address, phone number or birthday. Never send or post images of yourself’ check with you before filling out membership forms on gaming sites, online competition entry forms and so on ask you before they use a new app, so you can show them how to check the privacy settings to keep their personal information safe. Avoiding online purchases You can help stop any accidental in-app purchases by switching off in-app purchases and one-click payments on your devices.
It’s also a good idea for you and your child to agree on clear rules about not accepting in-app purchases. You might say, ‘It’s important that we don’t waste our money on things we don’t need. If you want to buy a new game or something in a game, please ask me’.
Talking about appropriate online behaviour Talking with your child about appropriate and inappropriate online behaviour will help your child learn how to stay safe. For example, you could:
tell your child not to do or say anything online that they wouldn’t do or say face to face with someone encourage your child to think before posting photos or comments help your child to walk away from online arguments. You could say, ‘Friends can say things they don’t mean. It’s good to let people get over their moods and not talk to them online for a little while.
An unfortunate number of women are becoming victims of cyber crimes. According to a recent study more women are known to use the Internet to enrich their relationships compared to men. Young women, those 18-24, experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels: 26% of these young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment. The growing reach of the Internet and the rapid spread of information through mobile devices has presented new opportunities that could put some women at risk, so it’s important to be mindful of the dangers.
let us keep a few cyber safety points in mind.
Don’t share passwords. It may sound silly. Who in their right mind shares their password, right?
Wrong. You may have shared your password with a trusted friend or partner. According to the Report two in three people believe it’s riskier to share their email password with a friend than lend them their car. The fear is reasonable. While friends may not intentionally cause you harm, they may accidently reveal your password to someone. Sometimes relationships change before your password does. Use your discretion and keep those passwords private and complicated.
Don’t leave your webcam connected. There are too many apps capable of turning on your camera and slyly recording your movements without your knowledge. As a precaution disable camera permission and keep the lens of your camera closed or covered when not in use.
Don’t share more than necessary. Relationships have only two shades in a spectrum – very good or very bad. Even the best of people can swing from one end of the spectrum to the other. That is why use caution when you share intimate messages, pictures, information or anything that has the potential to come back and embarrass you.
Don’t meet online acquaintances alone. Always let your friends and family know where you are going and who you are meeting. Make sure you meet the person in a crowded coffee shop or mall.
5 Reveal only as much as needed. There are too many sinister characters browsing social media sites to initiate friendship with unsuspecting women. Be careful about posting details about your whereabouts and lifestyle. Stalkers can find ways to reach you with a simple photograph or status update. Disable geotagging in your camera. Enable it only when required. Any device with an enabled ‘location service’ poses the risk of exposing your exact location at any given time.
Update all operating systems on you devices. They can be nuisance. But they are very important to keep you safe. Security updates and patches keep the latest threats away. Always install them no matter how busy you are.
Secure your devices with anti-virus software Having a mobile phone or a tablet without a security system in place is like sitting in a house with the doors unlocked. Both android and mac devices are at risk from malicious software invading and taking over your life. Always install a reliable security system like Norton Security in all your devices.
There is no such thing as ‘freebies’ Freebies come as games, offers, deals, etc. They may be riddled with viruses, spyware and malicious software. These can get into your device and mine all your data.
Block people you don’t want to interact with Never feel weird declining friend requests from people you barely know. Trust your instinct and ignore, unfriend or block them. You get to choose who stays on your friend list.
When it comes to safety, both online and offline, common sense is the first line of defense. Your instincts play a critical role in your protection. If something feels ‘off’, go with your instincts. You don’t have to explain your reasoning to anyone.