Parents often wonder if there are effective ways to keep their kids from falling prey to malicious people in person and online. The age of achieving technical literacy is getting lower and lower. These days, children as young as five are usually able to navigate their way around the internet.

That can be good and bad, but it's up to parents to make sure that the little ones are safe from hackers, criminals and other bad actors that just don't seem to go away. Here are some of the most effective ways to keep your children from becoming victims of online scams, ploys and phishing expeditions. 

Be Involved

Parents are used to teaching their kids about how to stay safe at the mall or while crossing a street, but too many adults forget to take the time for showing young people how to properly use a computer and, more importantly, navigate websites. Fortunately, there are all sorts of "child-safe" controls you can install on your home computer to keep kids safe and keep unwanted web pages from popping up.

Conduct regular checks of your child's own device (if they have one) to make sure there's nothing potentially malicious on the machine. A simple history check will usually suffice. There's no reason to let hijackers and hackers target your child. All it takes is a few minutes each day of vigilance to keep kids away from inappropriate information. 

Look for Age-Inappropriate Pages

It's common for adults to visit websites related to disease-prevention or universally-helpful topics like building home equity, or home equity loans. But when you see sophisticated web pages loaded onto your child's computer, it's time to do some checking. Many malicious apps are able to hijack computers while children are at the controls. How does this happen? Well, young kids might be naturally tech-savvy but aren't always tuned in to safety precautions live avoiding forced clicks or using secure passwords. 

Whenever your child sits at the controls of your desktop or laptop computer, make sure you have fully "child-proofed" the session with one or more of the popular apps that works in the background to secure the device while the youngster is using it. Kids will click on anything that looks fun and interesting. Sadly, hackers use that fact to gain access to computers and do all sorts of damage. 

Know the Telltale Signs

Parents, teachers and other adults who supervise children who are using computers should know the signs of potential problems. Does a child try to hide the screen when you approach? Does your son or daughter act nervous when you ask about their online surfing habits during the family meal? Have you noticed that a youngster's device is always locked or off when you check it? 

These are some of the sure signs that a young person is accessing sites that are not age-appropriate or just downright malicious. Parents should have a talk with children on a regular basis about online safety and what it means to stay safe while surfing. There's no reason to allow a young person to become a victim or a target of people who want to abuse them via technology.