Children are particularly at risk while online, so let’s look at how a VPN connection can protect your children.
Children spend an increasing amount of time online for entertainment, studies, or keeping in contact with their friends. Unfortunately, many children have not developed the same level of judgment as most adults have, plus kids will often be more impulsive, particularly when they are with their friends. Most of us know how a single kid knows precisely to behave in the traffic, but the second he or she sees a friend on the opposite side of the road, he or she forgets all about being careful when crossing the street. This makes kids the perfect target for hackers, scammers, and digital thieves. Unfortunately, you have to add an extra layer of risk when it comes to children as pedophiles will try to contact them online.
One solution is of course to not let your children be online at all, but unless you are Amish, it is probably not the way to go. You will cripple your children’s social life and deny them access to a lot of fun that other children will have access to. Plus they will fall behind when it comes to technical skills and at school as online access becomes more and more important in their school work.
So there is no other way than to let them have access to the internet but you can do a lot to keep them safe
Your first line of defense will always be to educate your children. Nothing beats being careful, observant, and knowing what signs to look out for; like you should be cautious when you are approached by strangers and that you cannot always be sure people are who they say. Like a 45-year-old pedophile can pretend to be a young teenage girl. Don’t scare your children too much. Just enough to be careful.
Personal awareness is essential, but you will also need some automatic protection as you can easily let your guard down for a second. Especially kids since they can forget to be careful since they don’t have the same judgment or attention span as adults.
One important tool in keeping your children digitally safe is to let them use a VPN connection every time they are online. This will make life a lot more difficult for those who are a danger to your children and your family. Unfortunately, some schools don’t like the use of VPN as some gifted and creative children have used a VPN to get around the school filters, but a VPN is a very important tool when it comes to protecting your children when they are online. Let’s look at the advantages:
1 Keeping Them Secure When They Connect to Other Networks
Children meet with their friends at their home and connect to their friend’s network. This is great, and they probably have a great time gaming, doing homework, watching YouTube, and much more. It’s all great, but the moment your child connects to somebody else’s network, you suddenly depend on that network’s security. So even if you have done everything to protect your own network, you will suddenly depend on the security of other networks. The risk is that your children’s computer, tablet or mobile phone could get infected with something and bring it back to your home. If it is something such as a virus, it will have free access to spread to all your devices as it spreads from inside your network.
With a VPN solution, your child will still be able to use the network of his/her friend’s network because the VPN will create a secure and encrypted tunnel that will reject all traffic from the network where your child is connected.
2 Don’t Depend On the Security Of the School Network
When at school or college, your kid will connect to the school network. This only multiplies what we described above a hundred or a thousand fold. Imagine all the other students, teachers and guests connecting to the same network, and as everybody will typically be inside the same network, one infected device will very quickly be able to infect all the other devices connected to the network. Now you really need to have all your guards up.
The other thing is that your child will have no privacy at all when using the school network. By default, all internet traffic will be non-encrypted and everybody who can intercept the traffic will be able to read whatever data is transferred. This means that not only the school but also all students who can intercept the data can get very personal information. Unfortunately, you don’t have to have a lot technical knowledge because their is easily accessible software that can snoop in on the data transferred over the network.
A VPN solution will do just the same as above, and if one of the other students has virus or spyware on his/her computer, tablet or phone, it will not be able to attack your child’s device. And since all of the data is encrypted, nobody will be able to read the data even if they manage to pick it up.
3 Being Safe When Using a WiFi Hotspot
Your child will, of course, like to use WiFi hotspots in all kinds of suspicious places and the risk is very similar to that of the school network, but now they will be out in a much more hostile environment. Therefore, the chances of an attack will be much higher and they will need to keep their guard up all the time.
A VPN will protect your children and secure their privacy. Most modern VPNs now offer a function that will automatically activate the VPN whenever you connect to a WiFi hotspot so this comes in very handy in a situation like this.
4 Keep Your Children Anonymous
In 2015, the toy manufacturer V-Tech was hacked by a 21-year-old hacker who stole information from 11 million accounts containing information about the kids IP addresses and other information about both the kids and their parents. That same year uKnowKids was hacked, and even though only 1,700 kids were affected, it was highly personal information about the kids and their parents since the company produces software that lets parents monitor their children’s communication and location. For about 48 hours, everybody with an internet connection could monitor the children’s communication and location in real time.
It doesn’t require much imagination to see how valuable this information is to criminals who can use it for identity theft or they can sell the information to others. In this case, it could be pedophiles. Plus all you need to know to take over another person’s life is their social security number and birthday. Then you can change their address, order credit cards, shop online, and they won’t suspect anything until the creditors begin to call and ask for money.
It is therefore very important that you protect and hide information like your children’s and your family’s IP addresses and information about the location of your children and your family. A VPN is an effective tool to do this since all your internet data will look like it comes from another IP address that is not related to you in any way. You can even make it look like it comes from another country. It will not be possible to trace it back to your children or your family.
5 Protecting Your Children From Themselves
Children are innately curious, and when they become teenagers, it is a law of nature that they don’t do what we have told them to do. They will often let their curiosity get the better of them, and suddenly, they are doing things that they absolutely shouldn’t be doing. It will probably not be a surprise if they suddenly are at free porn sites. These sites are high risk as they have been setup to try to hack the visitor’s computer or other devices. Hackers also especially love to hack porn sites as the sites can be set up to infect the visitor’s computers. A VPN connection will encrypt the data and stop attempts to infiltrate your children’s computers so they can stay safe even when they visit the darker corners of the internet.
Another activity that can get your children and family in trouble is if he or she begins to download copyrighted material. It is, of course, important that you emphasize to your kids that this behavior is highly illegal and morally wrong as people have worked hard to produce it, and if they are not paid, they will not make anything in the future. But despite your best efforts they will probably try anyway, particularly if their friends do it. The last thing you want is a group of lawyers knocking on your door. A VPN connection will make sure that no one can track it back to your children so your family can be safe even through your children have been up to no good.
6 Protecting Your Kids From Commercial Influence
Children are easy to influence by marketers as they don’t have the filtres that adults have and are not as cynical as we adults are. This is often very charming, but it also makes them the perfect target for marketers. By combining information about what your children do online, what they do on social media etceteras they can target them with ads where they are most vulnerable. By using a VPN connection do you hide your children from all the tools that the marketers use. There will still be ads, but it will be general ads at are not targeted at your children specific and not for children at all.
7 Keeping Your Children Safe When They Use Online Games
A lot of children spend a lot of time gaming and most games today are online. The game developers will constantly collect information about your children, and the information will be used to trick your children into increasing their in-game purchases. Even worse will be that your children’s privacy is suddenly in the hands of unknown game developers, and if their systems are hacked, tons of private information about your children will be for sale on the internet. Some games are even played over third-party servers. Some are run very professionally while others are free and set up by children themselves.
A VPN will make it possible to hide your children location, encryption information and so on.
8 Keeping Your Children Safe When They Forget to be Careful for a Second.
Sometimes you just forget to be observant. You accidentally open a file you shouldn’t have opened or click on a link that you actually know leads to a hostile web page. When we adults can forget to be careful, it is even more probable that your children can, and this is where the VPN connection will help. It will hide you and stop attacks by the hackers, scammers or digital thieves.
9 Keep Their Logins and Passwords Private
Since no data on the internet by default is encrypted, it is easy for anybody who can snap up the data to get access to usernames and passwords. Imagine that hackers, pedophiles, and others getting access to all the usernames and passwords that your children are using on their social media, their instant messenger accounts, online games, and even their school’s internet. Not only can they use the information in an attempt to contact and manipulate your children, they can also use the logins to approach other children in the name of your own children.
A VPN will encrypt all information and hide your children from all the dangerous and criminal people out there.
10 Avoid Strangers Giving Your Children Access to Violence, Porn or Other Upsetting Content
Today, your children’s access to games and streaming services is big business. Several websites offer usernames and passwords to Netflix and other streaming services at a fraction of what a subscription at Netflix costs. Those accounts come from hackers who have stolen them from unsuspecting users. Imagine somebody else using your children’s accounts. It might mean that whoever has bought the account has suddenly opened up content you would like to protect your children from such as violence, porn, or something that scares your children.
Another reason why it is so important to protect your children by always letting them use a VPN connection
As you can understand from the above, there are some really good reasons to invest in a VPN solution for your kids and of course for the rest of your family. What is true for your children is also true for you and the rest of the family.
As you probably are eager to get started we do suggest that you go over our guide with the best VPN providers for kids.