How to Ensure Online Safety of Children, FBI Tips

a little girl sitting at a table with a laptop. Cybersecurity, online safety

In a digital age where kids are practically born with smartphones in hand, ensuring the online safety of children has become more crucial than ever.

With the ever-growing number of online threats, it is important for parents to take steps to protect their children from harm.

What is Online Safety?

Online safety, also known as internet safety, cyber safety, or e-safety, encompasses the practices and precautions taken to protect yourself and others from the potential risks and dangers associated with using the internet.

It’s a broad term that covers various aspects, including:

#1. Protecting personal information

This involves being cautious about what you share online and who you share it with.

Avoid giving out sensitive details like your full name, address, phone number, or financial information unless you are certain it’s a secure and legitimate website.

#2. Protecting devices from malware

Malware is malicious software that can harm your devices or steal your information.

Use strong antivirus and anti-malware software, keep your software updated, and be wary of clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.

#3. Avoiding harmful or illegal content

The internet can expose you to inappropriate or harmful content. Be mindful of the websites you visit and the content you consume.

Use parental controls to protect children from accessing inappropriate material.

#4. Managing online relationships safely

Be cautious when interacting with people online, especially if you don’t know them personally.

Avoid sharing personal information too quickly and be wary of online predators or cyberbullying.

#5. Being aware of online scams

Phishing scams, like the ones discussed in this article, are a common online threat. Learn how to recognize them and avoid falling victim.

Online Dangers for Children

According to ConsumerNotice, almost every American child and teen has access to the internet.

Therefore, it’s imperative for parents, teachers, caregivers, and children themselves to understand the danger that comes with using online platforms.


Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online or through electronic devices.

It can include sending mean or threatening messages, posting embarrassing photos or videos, or spreading rumors online.

Cyberbullying can have a serious impact on the victim’s mental health and well-being.

Online predators

Online predators are adults who pose as children online in order to groom and exploit them. They may try to build a relationship with the child and then ask for personal information or try to meet them in person.

Online predators can pose a serious danger to children.

Exposure to inappropriate content

Online exposure to inappropriate content, such as pornography, violence, or hate speech, can affect children.

This can be harmful to their development and can lead to emotional and psychological problems.

Identity theft

Identity theft is the crime of stealing someone’s personal information, such as their name, address, and Social Security number.

The information can be used to commit fraud or other crimes. Children are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because they may not be aware of the risks or how to protect themselves.


Malware is software designed to harm a computer system. Users can download it through infected websites, emails, or attachments. The software can steal personal information, damage files, or even take control of a computer system.


Phishing is a scam in which criminals send emails or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or credit card company.

The emails or text messages may ask the recipient to provide personal information, such as their login credentials or credit card number. Phishing can be used to steal personal information or commit fraud.

Also read:

How a Florida Man Swindled $150,000 from an Aged Woman

Remote Access Trojans: What You Need to Know and How to Protect Yourself

Beware of Fake Mobile Beta-Testing Apps, Warns FBI

11 Top Skills Required to Make Money Online in 2023

Watch Out For Red Flags

Parents should be aware of the following red flags in their children:

#1. Sudden changes in behavior: This could include changes in mood, sleep patterns, or appetite.

#2. Withdrawal from friends and family: The child may start to avoid social activities and spend more time alone.

#3. Changes in school performance: The child may start to get lower grades or lose interest in schoolwork.

#4. Changes in online activity: The child may start spending more time online, especially on social media.

#5. Talking about or being secretive about their online activity: The child may be reluctant to talk about who they are talking to online or what they are doing.

#6. Being secretive about their devices: The child may start hiding their devices or taking them with them everywhere they go.

#7. Being reluctant to let you see their devices: The child may refuse to let you look at their devices or may try to delete their browsing history.

#8. Reporting: The child may tell you that they are being bullied or harassed online.

If you notice any of these red flags, it is important to talk to your child about what is going on. You can also contact the school or the authorities if you are concerned about your child’s safety.

boy writing on printer paper near girl, how to protect children from online predators, online safety of children

How to Ensure Online Safety of Children

The FBI offers the following tips:

#1. Talk to your kids about online safety

Discuss what kinds of information is appropriate to share online. And what to do if they encounter something that makes them uncomfortable.

#2. The Art of Limiting Information

Teach your kids to be cautious about what they reveal online.

Encourage them not to share their full name, date of birth, school details, or other personal information on social media platforms or with third-party vendors.

#3. Freebies Aren’t Always Free

Instill the wisdom that not all free software, apps, and downloads are safe. Some could even be illegal or harbor malicious intent.

By being vigilant, kids can protect their devices from potential malware attacks and data breaches.

#4. Monitor your kids’ online activity

This doesn’t mean you have to be constantly watching over their shoulder. But it’s important to be aware of what they’re doing and who they’re talking to.

#5. Use parental controls

There are a number of parental control software programs available that can help you restrict your kids’ access to certain websites and apps.

#6. Encourage your kids to use strong passwords and to change them regularly

They should also be careful about clicking on links in emails or on social media. These can sometimes lead to malware or phishing attacks.

#7. Teach your kids about the dangers of cyberbullying. If they’re being bullied online, encourage them to tell you or another trusted adult.

Learn how to protect yourself from digital extortion HERE.

Final Thoughts on How Children to Ensure Online Safety of Children

Parents must weave digital safety into the fabric of their children’s lives as they embrace the digital age. This is a challenging but essential task, as the internet can be a dangerous place for children.

By teaching their children about online safety and monitoring their online activity, parents can help keep them safe.




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