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How to ensure your child does not talk to strangers online

How to ensure your child does not talk to strangers online

Thanks to internet-enabled mobile devices, communicating with acquaintances, friends, family members, and strangers, has become easier than ever before. While adults are mature enough to handle conversations with strangers, children lack that maturity and may easily fall prey to online stalkers and groomers. To protect your children from cyberbullying and cybercrime at large, you have to take the following proactive steps.

Restrict your children’s use of internet-enabled devices
Children need to be entertained and in many households, working parents can’t make enough time from their busy schedules to entertain their kids. The easiest solution in such a situation is to buy mobile devices to fulfill the children’s entertainment needs.
However, parents need to set limits and restrictions to ensure moderation and prevent excessive use. Children that spend too much time using internet-enabled devices may develop mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Block social media websites and applications
Simply limiting your children’s internet use isn’t enough, as even 15 minutes are sufficient for interacting with strangers. Through the use of parental controls, you can block multiple websites, which can go a long way in preventing your children from talking to strangers.
Apart from blocking various social media websites and applications, you can also block adult websites using parental controls. Several parental controls allow parents to monitor how much their children are using the internet and what they are doing when they are online.
Encourage your children to engage in other activities
Children generally behave as they see others behaving around them. If they observe their parents at home and peers outside using mobile devices all the time, they will start to feel curious and in next to no time, they would want to do the same.
As parents, you should encourage your children to develop interests such as music, art, and sports. Not only would developing these interests keep them away from their mobile devices, but they would also improve your children’s physical and mental health.
Keep reminding your children about online ‘stranger-dangers’
When it comes to speaking to their children regarding steering clear of strangers in the physical world, parents are quite proactive. But surprisingly, most parents don’t talk about the strangers lurking in the virtual world as much.
Instead of doing what most parents do, you should not hesitate to speak to your children regarding the dangers of talking to strangers online. There’s no need to be aggressive and it doesn’t need to be a lecture. Just state your point firmly and also encourage your children to participate in the discussions.
By taking these steps, you can definitely reduce the risks of your children getting caught up in dangerous situations with strangers over online interactions.