Internet safety revolves around understanding how modern technology works, following a proven set of guidelines, and protecting your devices to enhance security against some malicious segments in the digital world. It is one of the most important programs that learning institutions should include in their curricula. Most students use the internet to read books, read instructions on how to perform a task, and look up answers to complex questions to name a few. However, there are potential dangers. Scams, malware, misrepresentation, lies, and phishing are hidden in almost every corner of the digital space. Why is online safety for kids important? In this article, we are going to answer this question.
Why is internet safety important?
To be safe in the digital space, you need to have a clear understanding of what the internet is, how it operates, and how you can use it effectively. You need to understand how the grey areas of the internet operate. These include web page interactions, code, and connections. As a student, one of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe is learning how to lock screen on Mac properly. With the Mac lock screen shortcut, you’ll easily prevent unauthorized users from accessing important information on your gadget. The Mac lock screen usually comes in handy, especially in college. Knowing how lock screen on Mac and using lock screen Mac doesn’t take a lot of time. You can always read short guides online on how to lock Macbook to get started with online safety.
Internet safety for kids can be broken down into two categories namely knowledge and behavior. With knowledge, you’ll get to use technology safely. Some of the important categories under knowledge include:
- Learning about code
- Understanding the value of data
- Using VPNs effectively
- Knowing when sensitive information is being collected
In the behavior category, some of the most important categories under it include:
- Verifying safe links
- Identifying online scams
- Creating passwords and using them
- Verifying other users’ identity
- Spotting cyberbullies and knowing how to deal with them
Internet safety lessons for students
1. Make the right choice
One of the most important areas of internet safety is making the right decisions. You have to conduct background research and take actionable steps. To make smart choices, here are some of the pointers that you should use:
2. Verify users’ identities
In the digital space, it’s easy for users to fake their identities. All that’s needed is a made-up name, email address, and a social media profile. With these three items, any user can impersonate another individual. As a student, you can verify users’ identities by searching their names on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and in reputable search engines. Why should use LinkedIn? It’s not easy to fake a profile on this platform. You’ll have to upload a well-written resume. LinkedIn profiles with minimal or no information are usually suspicious. Be on the lookout for Twitter profiles without followers, Facebook profiles without friends, and Instagram profiles with a handful of pictures. Imposters don’t usually have friends. Plus, they tend to be into themselves most of the time.
3. Verify safe links
Apart from knowing how to identify imposters, you need to know how to verify a link. You can several ways to do this. Every URL usually starts with the following letters – HTTPS and HTTP. HTTPS is secure while HTTP is unsecure. You also need to learn about hovering – placing the mouse cursor over a link without clicking it. When you hover, you’ll see the embedded link in the text. If you notice that the link has a different URL, do not click it.
4. Identify scams online
Most online scams are usually in the form of instant messages, unsolicited emails, and text messages. In short, they are notifications from unknown sources that request users to click links. They may have tempting offers such as cash rewards and gifts. However, do not click the link as you might end up subjecting your computer to viruses, malware, and ransomware to name a few.
5. Learn how to use VPNs
You need to know how VPNs work to keep yourself safe in the digital space. A VPN is a tool that keeps the connection between a device and a proxy location safe. Apart from that, they prevent internet providers from tracking your online activities. Keep in mind that internet providers can sell user browsing information to marketing organizations for effective advertising.
6. Use ad blockers
Nowadays, ads are everywhere, especially in the digital space. Unfortunately, only a handful of ad providers verify the information that advertisers publish to ensure that they are safe. Some websites serve ads that are infected by viruses and malware without knowing. All you have to do is open the webpage for viruses, malware, and spyware or ransomware to start downloading in the background. Installing ad blockers in your search engine will go a long way in helping you stay safe.
Why is online safety important? Our modern world is driven by tech. Therefore, it’s important to learn and practice how to stay safe. Net smart kids who learn about internet safety in their curriculum are usually prepared to operate in the digital space and end up becoming good online citizens.