Rules and Procedures: How Kids Can Surf the Internet Safely

Whether at school or at home – most kids enjoy surfing the internet. Studies show that children use computers, tablets, and smartphones earlier or earlier. Because of the Corona pandemic, children’s use behavior has changed dramatically in the past two years alone: ​​homeschooling, gambling or just chatting with friends – children are spending more time on the Internet. Many parents wonder how to ensure the safety of their children online.

Udo Lihs is the project manager at DigiBitS, the school project of “Deutschlandsicher im Netz eV”. It recommends that parents turn on privacy settings on the devices and apps their children use. Social networks popular with kids, such as TikTok or Instagram, offer the option to make the account private. This means that only the closest friends and family members see what their children post.

Tips for safe surfing the Internet

Parents take it for granted that they give their children rules and advice about going to school and dealing with friends, family, and strangers. But it is also important to give them guidance for the digital world. “The first and central step should be to have an open conversation with children. It is important for parents to stay informed of current potential threats and educate children about the risks and dangers. For this to work, parents must do above all one thing: show interest in their children’s behavior. on the Internet,” says Oliver Kunsman, Avast Security Expert.

Avast One: The Safety Suite for the Whole Family

Parents should discuss these things with their children

1. Children also should respect copyright
Music, photos, videos, and software may not be used or shared with friends without the author’s consent or purchase of a license. Explain to your child which sites are safe to use certain content and which are also legal. If your child knows, for example, that you have to pay for an online game up front, intentional or unintentional license violations won’t happen so quickly.

2. Lies also exist on the Internet
Talk to your child about the fact that not every opinion circulating on social media is true and not all videos and photos are true. A healthy degree of mistrust is important, because it is often unclear where information and content come from.

3. Malware prevention
Kids love browsing websites that offer free versions of already paid video games. These free versions are often infected with malware. Explain to your child that nothing is free on the Internet. In this way, you avoid not only the unpleasant consequences of copyright, but also the attack on personal data by cybercriminals.

4. Personal information must remain personal
Home or school addresses, cell phone numbers, and information about family members, such as the names of parents or siblings, must be kept confidential. The same applies to the name of the child. Find a nickname for your child that they would like to use to log into games or social media platforms. Explain to him how important it is to protect his privacy. The more personal information children share, the easier it is for criminals to discover who they and their families are.

5. What applies to personal information also applies to passwords
Just as you teach kids to take good care of their wallets, you should also teach your kids that cell phone protection and app passwords are just as important. This way you prevent strangers or children’s friends from taking advantage of it.

6. Children need social norms
Hate speech and cyberbullying affect adults and children alike. Explain to your child what is and is not acceptable when interacting digitally with others. Make it clear to your child that they don’t need to be shy about being humiliated online, but that they can come to you and get help. But also explain to him that he must observe etiquette himself.

7. Not everyone is your friend
The term electronic grooming describes targeted addressing in forums, chat rooms, social networks, messengers, or other platforms for initiating sexual contacts. And yes, this is a difficult topic to address. But just as we tell kids, “Don’t go with strangers,” we also need to make them understand that not everyone on the internet is who they say they are. Explain to your child that he should also be especially careful with strangers online. The same applies to online acquaintances who suddenly start to act strangely and ask for personal data, photos, money or the like. What do I do? Ban immediately and send a message to the social network!

8. Using children’s search engines
There are safe places for children on the Internet. Children’s search engines like fragFinn or Blinde Kuh provide fun – and safety. There’s a lot to discover on the site: interesting articles to learn, kid-friendly news to get to know, entertainment videos and mini games. And for parents, there are tips for more safety on the Internet.

Avast One: The Safety Suite for the Whole Family

You can get more information about online safety, such as tips on how to use digital media with confidence, information about online threats or help with online bullying and hate speech from organizations like

In addition, you can also increase the security in the network by using the appropriate software. Designed for families and can be used on multiple devices, Avast One security suite has active antivirus protection and many other useful tools like a VPN for safe and anonymous browsing. COMPUTER BILD Editor-in-Chief Dirk General-Kuchel recently spoke to Avast security expert Florian Forster about child safety on smartphones and computers.

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