Security

Keep Your Teen Safe Online with these 15 Easy Things

Last updated on February 2nd, 2018 at 10:07 pm

Parents, if you are looking for a way to protect teens online, then you’ve just landed at the right place! Of course, the idea of protecting your teen on the internet is critical in these days when the web has taken over the world. So, be sure to see the top 15 ways of keeping your teen safe.

Does teenagers’ safety over the internet “really” matter?

Well, multiple reasons project the importance of keeping your teen secure online. Internet security means control measures and involves ripping of web freedom.
Teen SafeOf course, you must be expecting some resistance from your children. If you love your children, though, you will give them more love than you expect back. Even if you should be considerate about of your children’s feelings, you should not let them get hurt online.

Anyway, below is why teen safety matters to every parent.

  • Protection from Internet cons
  • Morality and discipline
  • To save your teen from addiction to drugs or early sexuality
  • Keep your kid safe from online predators and hackers
  • Keep your teen off the prevailing cyber-bullying
  • Control your child’s anger or reactions by preventing them from getting to violent sites
  • Avoid allowing your kid to chat with malicious strangers
  • Save them from posting things that might be incriminating or embarrassing
  • Rid your children the regrets of online behaviour
  • Some social engineers (online cons and tricksters) can use your child’s innocence to get to you

The internet acts as a helpful learning tool, but it can also turn into a nightmare for your kids. Teen online safety is an important aspect to consider when allowing children to have phones or computers.

Teen safety online is all the things you do to help secure your soon-to-be adult when surfing the internet. Well, the internet is full of dangers, bullies, and predators; and you should do all possible things to save your beloved child.

In most cases, it’s hard to monitor the actions that the child does over the internet. But, the fact that the dangers of online hacking, bullying and privacy infringement are too much makes it essential to find a way out. Yes – spying on your kid is legal, and you can bury your fears here. Some parents do not know the real danger on the internet. So, it’s good to answer the question ‘how safe is your teen online?’

Is your teen safe online?

Well, according to recent research, at least 90% of the teens in America (and other developed countries) have access to the internet. A typical American teen takes at least 5 hours on the web every day.

Likewise, of the teens, 20% are actively involved in sexting, while 27% of teens between the ages of 10 to 17 have accessed sexual content or sites online. Moreover, at least half either bullied or been bullied on social media.

With such figures, responsible parents cannot hide heads in the sun – something has to be done! It’s important to appreciate that the internet has significant beneficial things for kids, though.

Many school-going teens (is there any who doesn’t?) use the web to acquire knowledge. Others use it for entertainment. Well, if that is all your children do online, then you should be one happy soul already!

But the problem chips in because one minute, the kid is enjoying Pokemon Go and reading Wikipedia, and the next, he’s already on some obnoxious website.

Sadly, many parents are unable to have full control of what their children do with phones, computers, and tablets among other technological gadgets. And this motivated us to write up a tutorial about how to spy on kids too.

Recent reports prove that most American kids get their first smartphone when they are six years old. By the time such kids are 14, they are quite techy and savvy, and parents can no longer monitor their online activity.

In fact, many teens even know how to hide their logs in a way that you cannot track what they have been up to. That is so sickening for parents, especially because keeping up with the latest technology news comes at the bottom of the checklist. But, as long as you are an avid reader of Spy Advice, you don’t have to wonder anymore!

Anyway, if you are too busy to monitor Snapchat, other smart ways can get you the results. For instance, you can use security and monitoring apps such as mSpy, strict disciplinary measures or the following tips!

These 15 Things will Keep Your Teen Safe Online

If you intend to foster online security for your teens, you must be enlightened. Most parents are unable to keep up with the latest technology because they are too busy trying to get a good life for their children.

Sadly, in most cases, the children do not seem to know (or care) what the parents are doing for them. Instead of appreciating that parents are trying to protect them, teens get irrational.

As a parent, you must remember that you’d better be at loggerheads with an angry teen, than a friend to a ‘lost’ and ‘spoiled’ one. The following tips will help you achieve teen safety on the Internet.

1. Place the home computer in a visible place of your house

When the computer’s desk is an open place of the house, it is hard for your kid to flip over to suspicious websites. Teens (and anyone else) fear being caught doing something questionable. The embarrassments of having someone else ask what they are doing when sexting can be too much to bear.

A teen safety enthusiast should be keen enough to tap into this. When the computer is at a public section of your house, it’s easy to tell what the teen is up to, and possibly, keep tabs on them.

In this regard, you should also make sure that your son or daughter does not take a phone or computer to the bedroom. Instead, insist that all electronic gadgets be left in the living room. This way, you can easily monitor what happens with these devices.

If your teenage daughter takes all calls at the living room, she will not take calls from strangers. Sexting will be off limits, too. In short, insist that your teen uses phones or computers from a place that has little privacy.

2. Protect your kid’s password

Creating online profiles require a password, do I need to tell? The secret word and username act as the credentials necessary for a person to access their profile’s dashboard.

With the login details, therefore, an individual may upload pictures, text or view chats at will over social media. The person who signs in does not necessarily need to be the actual user. If someone else gets your login details, he or she will still access your Facebook or MySpace account without your consent.

While social media is fascinating, it is also susceptible to compromise. Thus, there is need to know how your kid uses the password.

If you keep the credentials safe, then it is hard for anyone else to hack into the account. So, it is essential for you to teach your teens about the need for a safe complex password.

Below are the tips to keep your key secure.

  • Create a password that you can remember, but one that is hard to guess. Do not give hackers a clue; so, avoid your birthday, name, phone number or school admission digits.
  • When coming up with a password, make sure it is sophisticated enough. It should have upper and lower cases as well as numbers and characters. Then, make it about ten characters long.
  • Change the password after every 2 to 3 months. Regularly changed passwords are not only hard to guess but also hard to track. You see, some snoops are so smart that they can know your password by seeing you sign in.
  • As a safety conscious parent, be sure to talk to your teen about these password tips. Possibly, you should have the passwords. Insist that your kid uses different passwords for the sites he or she uses. It minimizes the possibility of hacking all accounts. If the passwords are too many to remember, try using a password management software.

3. Teach your teen what to post

A teen can be so fascinated that they expose their details online. Others can engage in cyber-bullying, which may land them on the wrong side of the law.

To keep your teen safe from such things, you need to teach them. Posts should never contain the location, phone contacts or actual residential area. That helps the teen to prevent giving trackers and predators.

There is also need for your teen to post pictures that are not sensitive. You see, at least 60% of 17-year-olds have at least one thing they regret doing on the internet.

The disappointments include obnoxious pictures, videos or other information they posted on social media. Also, some texts that they send could be sensitive.

Thus, parents should step in to help their kids understand the dangers of irresponsible posting. People have faced jail terms, bullying and suicide after posting inapt information on the internet. So, guide your child on the best things to post on social media.

4. Set some basic rules

As a parent, you must have your minimums of what the kid can or not do. For instance, your teen who has attained the age of receiving a license should not use a phone while driving. Also, insist that they cannot have in-person meetups.

You should also restrict the total time they take on social media. For instance, you can make them agree that for every hour they spend online, they should spend thirty minutes biking or doing other physical outdoor activities.

If possible, sign an agreement with them to affirm that they will conform to the rules or face the consequences of failing to honor them.

5. Tell out your kid in case of something nasty

You should be ready to speak up if you find your kids doing unwanted things on the internet. Whether it is logging to malicious or inappropriate websites, or bullying other internet users, you must warn them.

A parent’s voice is vital in disciplining your sons and daughters. While you may not punish them the corporal way, you can embrace sanctions if they contradict the rules you have set.

6. Set their privacy to close friends and family

Social media is a public forum, and anyone can see your profile. But, there are settings to help you restrict your privacy.

Privacy is an important issue to consider because it is the description of who can see what you post or read your profile. This feature is essential for parents who want to restrict who communicates with their teens on the internet.

Public settings allow anything you post to be visible to anyone who is on the internet. There is little privacy in this because even those who Google the username might find the post.

It means all information on the profile is exposed to everyone on the internet. This may not be prudent for your teen because it reveals them to anyone, including malicious internet users.

The ‘Friends’ or ‘Followers only’ privacy settings allow users to share information with people who are their friends on social media.

Provided the teen has an active connection to another internet user, they can chat and see posts or profiles.

While this sounds nice, it leaves loopholes that can be used by strangers to get to your kid. Internet predators, on Facebook, for instance, can send a friend request to your teen, and start preying on him or her.

Custom privacy settings allow your teen to choose who can read their posts or see their profiles. Customizing the audience is one of the few choices you have if you want to keep your teen safe online.

You should, however, advise your teen to customize posts to be read by family and close friends, or people who you can approve to be trustworthy.

Fortunately, there are privacy settings for ‘Close Friends and Family,’ which are the most preferable for teens. Advise your teens to limit their friendship to close friends and family. This way, they can have a little leverage on who can know about them.

7. Create awareness about cyberbullying

You should talk to your teen about cyberbullying. Research proves that at least 50% of teens on social media are victims of bullying. Another half has a record of bullying someone on the internet.

As an adult, bullying may not affect you much, but for sure, it could damage your teen’s esteem. So, you need to talk them about the standard or courteous language to use online.

8. Discourage sexting

At adolescence, kids start becoming sexually active, and that is normal. But, you still need to see to it that the teen does not go overboard. 20% of teens send sex texts. You need to advise your teen not do this. Well, flirting may sound reasonable, but you do not know who is on the other end of the communication, and what their intention is.

It is illegal for minors to be involved in sexual activities, and this should alarm your teen. Again, the person who is engaging your kid in such a talk could turn him or her into an irresponsible or immoral person.

You need to befriend your child and advise them against sexting. Tell them about its dangers, such as teen pregnancy, STDs, and damaged reputation in case the chats or pictures leak. It may also require you to monitor text messages or spy on Snapchat.

9. Tell them to avoid using public computers

Public computers are too vulnerable to use for safety enthusiasts. First, it is easy to track the web activity logs from a public computer. This information can get into the hands of malicious people. Internet records indicate web browsing patterns or behavior, and thus, you need to take care.

Secondly, it’s normal to forget clearing caches or to log out after using your personal computer. This is dangerous because another person can come to the laptop and misuse it. So, advise your teen to avoid using a computer that is not their own or against entering personal information or login details on it.

10. Remove the webcam

The webcam is an essential feature on your computer, but it can also give hackers a gateway. Most spy apps and programs use the webcam to take pictures of you or your house.

Removing the webcam from your computer makes it hard for malicious individuals to keep tabs on you or your teen. If you fear that someone is monitoring your activities, check our article on how to detect spy software.

11. Familiarize yourself with social media

Another way to keep teens secure is to ensure that you know a little about social media. Keeping up with news about the latest viral social app may be a hard to do for most parents.

But, you should at least know the most famous. For instance, you should sign up on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Snapchat among other social media platforms.

Be their friends or follow them on the social media sites. Make sure that they do not block you, or else it will all be in vain.

12. Be a role model for online safety

Kids learn by apprenticeship more efficiently than through lectures. If you want lights to be off by 10, you do not need to make it a rule- switch off your lights, and the kids will make it a custom.

The same applies to online safety. To ensure that your teens do not to take electronic devices to the bedroom, leave yours in the living room. Children think their parents are perfect, and they work hard to follow their steps.

Noteworthy, children hate hypocrisy, and they can become insolvent if their parents tell them to be cautious online, yet they (parents) aren’t. You, too, should take care of the internet. Children will take care of what they post if you do the same.

13. Pick age-appropriate apps for the smartphone

You should only allow age-appropriate apps for your teen. For instance, MySpace may not be reasonable for a nine-year-old, but it serves well for teens. Is it wise to install Snapchat on children’s smartphones?

Well, 80% of Snapchat users are aged below 25 years, but it is mainly a flirting app. Anyway, check out what type of apps the kid installs on their smartphones. Otherwise, use parental guidance tools.

14. Offer Parental guidance

A large section of online teen safety is about parental supervision. It could be by speaking to the kid, or through technological solutions. Tech is its very own remedy.

For instance, while it provides vastness with the internet, technology also has tools to curb too much use of the web. While using tools is worthwhile, speak to your child about the importance of online safety, too.

15. Parental Control Tools

If you are a Mac or iOS user, Apple has parental control settings for you to use. With Apple products, you can customize the usage restrictions for your teens. This includes specifying the amount of time that the teen can spend on the computer, web or people with whom they can interact.

It also allows you to restrict the use of specific apps. Also, Apple will enable you to lock the settings in such a way that no one else can alter the changes. Other devices like Windows OS even have parental control settings. Use them wisely.

Best than all, you can also find out the best iPhone monitoring software that is professional. Apart from the iPhone parental monitoring app or program, you can engage child phone monitoring free tools on the internet. So, which are the most effective phone and computer monitoring apps?

Best Phone Monitoring App to Monitor Your Teen’s Digital Moves

As I said above, best to do out of all is, you can install smartphone or computer monitoring programs. These will help you watch what your kid does on these devices.

If you are looking for the best teen monitoring app, I recommend you try mSpy, because it is the best phone monitoring app. You can read our comprehensive review of mSpy tracking app. Meanwhile, here are the benefits of using mSpy.

  • mSpy is the answer to ‘How can I monitor my child’s text messages without them knowing?’
  • Web history spying
  • GPS
  • Gallery Monitoring
  • Remote iPhone locking
  • Compatible with all the devices including iPhone, Mac, Android and Windows PC to name a few
  • 24/7 active support
  • Affordable and trustworthy provider

To sum up

In brief, teen online safety is inescapable these days due to the advanced technology. While it is crucial to use conventional advice as a way of controlling your teen’s behavior, you also need to keep up with the tech trends.

SpyAdvice is the kind of site that every parent must subscribe to because it has everything you need to know about how to keep your children safe on the internet. Meanwhile, if you have any question or idea about teen safety, feel free to engage us in the comment section below.

Kinyua Njeri
the authorKinyua Njeri
Staff Writer
Kinyua writer is a Tech freelancer from Kenya. He’s a technology geek but also writes intuitive articles on other topics. Kinyua's motto is ‘‘Research Deeply, Test Thoroughly, and Write Simply’.’.

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