Every year the 15th of May is celebrated as International Day of Families. Although it is not recognized as a public holiday, it is still celebrated around the globe. As a response to changing social and economic structures at the time, the United Nations declared 1994 as the International Year of Families, and since then International Family Day has been celebrated annually.

International Family Day represents the importance of families, people, societies, and cultures around the world. In honour of this special day, take the time to learn how to protect your entire family online.

While it may seem harmless to let your kids go online unsupervised, the internet poses many risks to a child, or an adult, who doesn’t know what they’re doing. You should sit your entire family down for important conversations about internet safety and setting boundaries online.

Be clear with your family with regards to what is and isn’t allowed to be shared online. You can set out time periods allocated to device down time when everyone in the family disconnects in order to reconnect. Use this time for fun family activities you wouldn’t normally do. You can also allocate time slots for free time online, and you can discuss as a family when the right time would be to put devices away for the night. It is advised to keep devices out of the bedroom at night to avoid aimless scrolling and protect your eyes from the blue light that is emitted from the device.

Teach your kids how to create strong and unique passwords for all their online accounts. Remember to try and make each one different. It is best to use a password manager so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting any of your complex passwords. All you need to do is remember your main “master password” and the password manager will keep all your passwords together and secured.

If your kids are using social media, ensure that you are following them or are “friends” with them online to keep an eye on what they’re posting. Social media has become a preferred hunting ground for cybercriminals. Teach your kids about the risks of social media and interacting with people they don’t know.

Children don’t always have the best judgement and can often be a bit too trusting when it comes to strangers online. If your child has a smartphone, look through it occasionally to see what they’re up to. If you feel like that would be a bit too invasive and you trust your child, you could try having an open conversation with them about what they do online and who they chat to. Remember to let them know that this conversation contains no judgement, and they will not be in trouble if they have done something wrong. Encourage them to come to you if and when something does go wrong online.

Alternatively, you could take a look at some parental control apps, such as CyberSharp Protect. This platform non-invasively monitors your kid’s online behaviour over 30+ apps and platforms and alerts you to any behaviour that you may find concerning, such as cyberbullying, profanity, violence or messages depicting self-harm, all while providing your child with a respectable level of privacy.