With today’s kids virtually growing up in front of computers, parents are often left behind. Since children and teens are more familiar about computers, many parents feel that they cannot protect them from the harmful aspects of this technology, including pornography, fraud, hate groups, and the likes.
But if you think the World Wide Web is one game you cannot play with your kids, think again. There are simple ways to ensure your child’s safety online, even without being a computer expert.
Do online activities together
You can surf the net with your kids. Ask them to teach you the basics, such as instant messaging and social networking. Apart from having an opportunity to bond with them, you will be able to monitor whom your children are interacting with, as well as get to know their online friends.
Set firm policies
Just as you would do in any other privilege, set rules about using the computer. Decide as to what time of the day they can use it, how long they can use it, and what sites they can visit. When they break any rule, be stern with your punishment so they will know you mean serious business. Make them aware of the dangers lurking in cyberspace.
Take advantage of online tools
You can also have a crash course on the various tools available to help you monitor your kids’ activities on the net. For example, you may learn how to setup blocking or filtering software which will prevent your children from having access to websites with harmful content. There are also programs which can block pop ads and spams, most of which provide links to pornographic sites. You can even keep a log of all communication between your child and other people using some software.
Teach them the basics
Since you cannot possibly be with your children 24/7, you must give them reminders on how to behave online. Tell them that the cardinal rule when online is to never give out personal information including their full names, home address, school, and contact numbers. Moreover, remind them to never send a picture of themselves or the whole family to any stranger.
Ask your children to tell you immediately if they see or read any information on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Technology can bring endless possibilities or may cause harm. Make sure that your children are well educated about the dangers that the Internet can bring. Ensure your child’s safety online by following the guidelines mentioned above.