Quiz for Parents: Are You Doing Child Internet Safety Good Enough?
For starters, parents, you must realize one simple thing: your children never knew the world without the Internet. Go ahead, take a second or a minute or two to get this idea completely.
Done? Good. Then you don’t you dare to blame kids for “internetizing” every aspect of their lives – from entertainment and communication to studying and working. With the Mobile steadily replacing PCs and laptops as “the first screen,” this trend is only getting stronger.
On the other hand, your duty as a parent is keeping your child safe under any conditions. This applies to the Internet as well. Staying safe online is one hell of a task because World Wide Web – despite all its values – can be a very dangerous place for children. Online predators, cyberbullying, identity theft, sexting, objectionable content and other perils lie in wait for inexperienced young web users.
Sadly, making the Internet completely kid-safe place is still the mission impossible even if we consider all the efforts that multiple specialized organizations take every single day. However, concerned parents can really do a lot themselves to protect their little ones. Educating children on the cyber security issues, explaining rules of online safety, and taking measures to prevent digital dangers is the distinctive trait of modern parenting.
The Quiz and Score Calculation
Pumpic team worked out the quiz that will help you – parents – figure out whether you managed to ensure online safety for kids at home and on handheld devices. Just answer every question “Yes” or “No.” We recommend you to take a pen and write down the credits you get for each answer:
- If you answer “No” to questions 1-8, add 2 credits for each reply;
- If you answer “No” to questions 9-15, add 1 credit for each reply;
- No credits are given for “Yes” answers.
Once you’re through, sum up the credits and check the Results section to see are your children safe, at risk or in danger when using the Internet. So, here we go:
- Do you know your kid’s online passwords?
- Does your kid’s screen name hide his/her gender?
- Do you have consistent, direct conversations with your child about appropriate Internet usage and online safety rules?
- Do you use Internet filtering software on all computers your child has access to?
- Do you perform periodic checks of your kid’s personal computer?
- Do you know the usernames and passwords for your kid’s devices and apps?
- Do you somehow monitor your kid’s activity on handheld devices (smartphone, tablet, etc.)?
- Do you know what you would say if you find out that your kid is a bully or sexted or set up a met with a person he/she only knows from online?
- Do you check what your kid posts on social networks?
- Does your kid upload your picture or family with parent’s consent only?
- Do you have an ‘online rules’ agreement with your child?
- Do you have a filter and web page monitor on your home’s wireless router?
- Is the computer your child uses kept in a high traffic area in your home?
- Do you know what apps are on your kid’s phone(s) and how they are used?
- Have you activated and set up onboard parental controls on your kid’s mobile device?
0-3 credits – well done! Congratulations, you did a tremendous job to make sure that YOUR KIDS ARE SAFE online. But don’t relax and keep it up!
4-7 credits – you’re obviously doing not enough for cyber security as YOUR KIDS ARE AT RISK. Apparently, you’ve told your child about basic cyber safety rules, but mostly you rely on his/her discretion and wisdom. When it comes to dealing with serious Internet perils, you often rest assured that your kid “would never do something like that.” Well, we hasten to let you know that such beliefs are generally false, and mostly that’s not kids’ fault.
Hence, our advice is to update yourself on what your child is up to in terms of digital activity, study up the latest web safety practices – and revise online security measures you take correspondingly. Remember that nowadays children spend most of the time not on family computers but on smartphones and tablets. So make sure you find a convenient way for you and your child to monitor his/her mobile device.
8-23 credits – watch out, YOUR KIDS ARE IN DANGER! First and foremost, thoroughly analyze your child’s behavior. Look for warning signs and symptoms that can indicate problems: reluctance to go to school; sudden breakups with friends; decreased self-esteem; sleep problems; faking illness; lost or destroyed clothing and belongings, etc. These can be signs of cyberbullying or consequences of meeting an online predator. Once you discover these facts, address help immediately.
Otherwise, you should radically reconsider the way your kids use the Internet and step you take to ensure their online safety. You should have a serious family talk about dangers the World Wide Web bears and ways to avert them. Also, it might be a good idea to work out a family agreement with clear rules of using PC, mobile devices, and the Internet. Once you all conform to the terms, sit down with your kid and review personal information he/she shares with others, change passwords to stronger ones, check smartphone apps from the perspective of online safety, etc. Another step to think over is monitoring kid’s online activity to see how safety rules are being followed. We advise you obtain child’s permission for that or at least warn him/her about what you’re going to do.
Then, take our quiz again to see if you’ve reached the “safe area.”
Better Safe Than Sorry
Summing it up, we’d like to articulate the eloquent statistics about kids, parents, and cyber security. According to a report by Hart Research Associates, 93% of parents claim they regularly talk to their children about online safety. At the same time, only 61% of kids report actually discussing this topic with their folks!
So stop taking chances, procrastinating and assuming that “my child will never do that” or “bad things happen to someone else, not to my kid.” Of course, you may hope for the best but must admit risks, expect the worst and take all possible measures to ensure your kids’ safety. As the old saying goes, better safe than sorry.