For kids to be able to survive in the 21st Century, they need to learn how to use a computer, but how do you keep them safe from all the faceless dangers in the virtual world? You need to practice cyber safety.
To start with, you need to know as much about the internet as you can. Just like you know the friends your child visits very well, the park where they play, you need to know exactly what you can expect from the internet!
Here are a few tips designed to help you protect your child from online dangers. For more information, visit www.Parenting.com.
Step into their cyber world
Make sure you know exactly which sites your child intentionally and unintentionally visits. You can do this by keeping a close tab on their browsing history. Even if you are super tired of looking at the umpteenth Barbie website, stick with it!
Make house rules
You will have to decide how often and for how long your children will be allowed to be online. Make a detailed list of the rules and put it next to the computer so that they are always aware of what they are allowed to do and what they’re not.
Teach them to protect their privacy
They won’t really know why it is a bad idea to reveal personal information online, so teach them privacy. Make sure they know never to give out any of the following information:
- Never give out their full names, telephone number, e-mail address, password, address, school or photo
- Never open an e-mail from someone they do not know
- To not respond to hurtful or disturbing messages
- To not get together with someone they met online
Location, location, location
Make sure the computer is somewhere central to a busy part of the home. This will ensure that your child doesn’t have too much alone time with the computer and subsequently with shady characters.
Have an open relationship with the kids
Make sure your child knows they can and should speak with you if they see, hear or experience anything that makes them uncomfortable.
Make use of your ISPs extra services
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might have a reliable and free parental controls included in their service packages. Find out if your ISP can offer you a parental control feature before buying one. If your ISP provides you with it, chances are it works better as a package.
Your browser can also babysit
Your browser can be set up to eliminate foul language, nudity and any other explicit content to help you protect your child. If set-up correctly, it will remove all unwanted content and/or not open the link clicked.
Make sure you watch this video to give you an account of what could happen to children online:
All of the above options are simple and easy to use to help ensure your child is not exposed to any dubious content or characters.