We are halfway through the summer, and kids in the USA are getting ready to return to school.

While it is exciting to be back in the classroom, living in a post-pandemic world also comes with a grain of salt, as parents will not always be with their children.

Schools are returning to normal; distance learning is losing pace, and teaching children how to protect themselves while developing a digital lifestyle is as important as protecting themselves in real life.

READ ALSO: Are your children ready to go back to school?

Here are a few suggestions on how children and parents can avoid trouble in the new year.

The importance of privacy

TikTok and social media have made it easy for children to have a shot at being overnight stars and develop a following while still in school. However, social media platforms like TikTok sometimes lead to addiction and desperate moves to garner attention. While content is fun to make and allows children to express creativity, parents must know who is the audience of the created content. And if videos or posts are fully public, they should not disclose any info that could identify the address or full name of the children involved.

Predators exist

Parents sometimes forget that predators likely lurk more often in the digital world than in real life. Keeping an eye on the kids while respecting their privacy is a must, especially if there is a teen in the family. Predators can be everywhere, in PC video game chats, smartphones, and even on a Nintendo Switch platform. Discussing types of alarming behavior and how kids can recognize it and report it to a parent is a must. Students might not realize how exposed they are to the outside world online, so it is the parent’s job to include some primary cybersecurity education.

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Talk about cyberbullying with the kids. Children of all ages, sometimes even parents, must understand that what happens online could have real-life consequences. Long gone are the days of complete anonymity. Teach the little ones to be responsible online like they are in the real world. Untasteful behavior online could even be worse, as digital prints can haunt a person forever. Teach children not to be the victim nor the bully.

ALSO READ: 52 Alarming Cyberbullying Statistics and Facts for 2023

Social media challenges

Stay on top of the trends and act quick when kids attempt to do something unhealthy. Those often start in schools and teachers are trained to recognize harmful behavior, and alert parents if they see something. Still, teachers also often have 20+ children per class, and relying only on reports by teachers isn’t enough. Keeping an eye on what is happening in children’s digital life is a must.

Phishing attempts

No one is fully protected by phishing attempts. One way or another, hackers always find a way to successfully deliver an email or a text message to potential victims. Antivirus software solutions can successfully shield people from such criminal attempts, but even with protection, sometimes malicious content ends up ready for takers in someone’s inbox. Everyone, from senators in the government to children with school email inboxes, gets targeted by cybercriminals and everyone should know not to click on those malicious links.

READ ALSO: 11 Types of Phishing + Real-Life Examples

Antivirus software solutions often also come bundled with parental control features like Panda Dome Premium. Utilizing the tools in such protection solutions helps parents limit a child’s exposure to phishing emails, online predators, cyberbullies, and dangerous social media behavior.