In today’s generation, the internet takes a forefront when it comes to education, bringing the world together and also at your doorstep. The Internet is a wonderful resource for kids. These days kids who are old enough to swipe a screen can have access to the world through internet. That is why it is important to be aware of what your kids see and hear on the internet, who they talk to and what information they share about themselves online. At times a silly typo could expose your child to very sensitive and inappropriate content on the internet.
Children are learning about technology and using the internet at a younger age than ever. So parents must ensure that their kids are aware of the online dangers. Internet risks can be of different types, cyberbullying, identity theft, etc. Here’s what you need to know and what you can do to ensure internet safety for your child.
It is always advisable to add a filter to your kid’s search on the internet. There are many Internet Service Providers that provide parent-control options to block certain material from coming into a computer and restrict personal information from being sent online. But does this guarantee to keep your kids away from any kind of risks on the internet? Hence, it is very important to be aware of your kid’s activities on the internet and educate them about online risks.
At times as parents, we equip kids with hi-tech gadgets and approve of them for having their own social media account. Remember every social media or game platform have a permissible age. Share an email or social media account with your child so you can monitor messages.
Make sure your kids get access to such websites when they develop their basic understanding of what is right. Set up rules for going online and using a mobile phone. Decide upon the time of day, the length of time that your kids can be online and appropriate areas or sites for them to visit.
Parents should talk to their kids about internet safety and etiquettes. Giving out personal information on the internet is as hazardous as posting pictures on the internet and hence, is a strict no-no. The Internet is a real community of people who are connected by computers, so treat people that you don’t know on the Internet as strangers that you might meet in a street. Do not give out any personal information related to your family, friends or yourself like full names, addresses, telephone or mobile numbers or those of your parents. Other information like the name and location of your school or details of school activities can also identify you to others, whether you are in a chat room, message board or newsgroup.
Tell your kids not to respond any messages that are mean or in any way make them feel uncomfortable. Tell them it’s not their fault if they get a message like that. They should inform their parents right away.
To make this reading crisper and interesting here is a quick checklist of what all things you must make sure while your kids are browsing the internet.
Warning signs: Be alert!
Warning signs of a child being targeted by an online predator include spending long hours online, especially at night, phone calls from people you don’t know, or unsolicited gifts arriving in the mail. If your child suddenly turns off the computer when you walk into the room, ask why and monitor computer time more closely. Withdrawal from family life and reluctance to discuss online activities are other signs to watch for.
Taking an active role in your kids’ Internet activities will help ensure that they benefit from the wealth of valuable information it offers without being exposed to any potential dangers.