Internet safety is a family issue and it should not be taken lightly. In these modern times, it is so easy for kids to get into troublesome situations online, whether they come across adult only websites or end up being cyber bullied. There are numerous ways that you can protect your family from dangerous situations that may occur when using the internet and once you act on them, you and your family will feel much safer.
Limit the Usage of the Internet in the Home
It is important that there is a cut off time for the internet. Allow your children to use the internet for research purposes, not for games. When kids go searching for games, they may end up launching all sorts of damaging programs in your computer, as well as see pop ups of things they shouldn’t be seeing at their age. There are so many damaging websites on the internet that can tarnish the innocence of young minds and create all sorts of problems with your very expensive computer or laptop.
When you introduce your child to using the internet outside of the classroom, monitor how they use it. Teach them how to find kid-friendly resources and bookmark places that they can easily access for information. Give them a time limit so that they stay on the mission they are on and do not ‘wander’ around the internet.
Monitor Your Child’s Social Media Accounts
While this may seem like an act of an overprotective parent, it is a smart act. Kids under the age of 13 shouldn’t really be exposed to websites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. If, and when you allow your child to open accounts in the social media world, it is best to keep your eyes peeled. You may request that you have access to their accounts until they are of a certain age such as 14 or 15 when they understand online safety a bit more and when more privacy is required.
Keep in mind that child predators have ways of breaking through online barriers so they can send messages through to accounts. A child that is too young to understand that this may be a dangerous person approaching them online may be in danger.
Talk About Online Activities
Keep an open vocabulary about online activities in the household. Ask your kids what types of things they come across online and if there is anything that has ever made them uncomfortable. Explain that you have had strangers approach you online and tell them how you deal with the situation when it happens. The more kids know about the different dangerous scenarios that can happen online, the more they will have the knowledge to stay away from scam artists, predators, and strangers in general.
Use Software to Protect Young Minds
If you can purchase software for your computers in the home, it would provide you with more security in general. Many internet safety software programs such as Safe Eyes, monitor, filter, and block out specific websites that are not for kids, tweens, and teenagers.
We may not be able to protect everything our kids come across online, but there are ways to provide more internet safety in the home and in the place where kids have more access and time to roam around the web. Every single action we take to prevent our kids from falling into dangerous online situations helps, and as parents, we can relax a little bit knowing our home computers are safe to use.
How do you protect your family from the dangers of being online? We would love to hear!