Childhood: 10 Tips For Safe And Healthy Use Of The Internet : Minors access the Internet more and more. About 60% of boys and girls use the Internet daily, and almost 45% spend two hours a day browsing the Internet. These are some of the most significant data extracted. And there is more.
As stated by Unicef, one in three Internet users is minor. Although Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can provide numerous advantages in their learning and socialization process, there are also risks that they must learn to prevent and combat.
Many of these applications, programs, and platforms contain a multitude of personal data that, in the case of minors, can be particularly compromised if they are misused. For this reason, it is necessary to advise safe navigation and the protection of the devices themselves.
10 recommendations for minors to use the internet safely
Do not give personal information
Children and adolescents must clearly state that giving personal information over the internet is prohibited. Suppose any of your contacts, known or unknown, on any platform, not only on social networks but also on online gaming platforms, forums, etc., request your data under any pretext (in many cases very elaborate) from you or their family or friends. In that case, they should not provide them under any circumstances.
Use different email accounts.
Another of the most recurrent recommendations made by entities specialized in the safe use of the Internet by minors is to create and use different email accounts. In this way, minors can have a personal email with which they usually operate for school matters, for example, and a second email with which they can register on game pages, forums, and other similar platforms. Another associated advice is not to provide the e-mail address to strangers and not to give the emails of friends without the permission of their parents or legal guardians.
Reject spam emails or those containing download files
Downloading files without knowing their origin can compromise the security of the devices that the minor is using. These files may have malicious intent that introduces viruses to the computer or even track information stored on computers.
Access codes and passwords are always secret.
Minors and adults must not share passwords and access codes to electronic devices, or social network profiles, or allow entry on our behalf to any other online platform. Do not provide passwords (not even to the closest people). In the case of children and adolescents, they can only provide this information to their fathers, mothers or guardians, and legal guardians. It is also recommended to change passwords every two to three months.
Ask for help if someone mistreats them or asks for “strange things” on the internet.
Suppose, while browsing the internet, they receive messages that insult them, mistreat them or ask for pictures or any other document. In that case, they should leave the internet immediately and tell their parents.
Maintain family trust
The boy, girl, or adolescent must know that those people who offer them anything online with the condition of “not telling their parents” do not have good intentions towards them, so contrary to what they have been asked, they must inform them of their parents or legal guardians so that they are informed and can remedy this situation. Gaining minors’ trust so they can explain their activities on the Internet and the relationships they establish on the Internet is fundamental to minimizing the risks.
Run away from viruses
To keep children and adolescents’ computer equipment and mobile devices safe from malicious viruses, it is necessary to explain that they should not open emails from which they do not know the origin. In the case of mobile devices, minors should know that if they receive a message they doubt, it is better not to open it because it could compromise their security. These messages often have attractive claims about raffles, gifts, prizes, etc.
Beware of internet “friends.”
In this sense, configuring the privacy options of social networks is an excellent solution to limit who can contact the minor and who cannot. Even so, there may be a situation where a person with bad intentions manages to access them through some digital channel. These people intend to gain your trust and get something in return, be it images, money, etc. Minors feel fear, and discussing the problem with their parents or legal guardians is difficult.
Take care of the image on the internet.
On many occasions, the minor may not consider the actual scope of the internet and, especially, the social networks they use. For this reason, they upload images, sometimes compromised, without being aware of the many people seeing them.
Foster a critical spirit in minors
It is crucial that since they are little, they learn that everything they see on the internet does not have to be true. A very healthy habit is that they learn to contrast information and not take it for good information, usually sensationalist and seeking to provoke an almost instantaneous emotional reaction. Fake news or false news can also affect the little ones.
How do we protect technological devices?
Paula is 12 years old and is improving her level of English at a language academy on Monday and Wednesday afternoons after school. During class, she checks her Instagram profile for a moment. The teacher catches his attention and asks him to go to the blackboard to make a presentation. She leaves her social profile open on her seat. While she is in front of the class, some children in the class take her cell phone and post pictures of her without her consent on her profile on this social network to annoy her….
These situations can quickly occur, so in addition to teaching them the above guidelines to protect themselves from the dangers they may have when browsing the internet, it is also essential to know how to protect their mobile phones, tablets, and computers.
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