While the Internet is a place where people can go to socialize, network, learn, play games, and do many things at once without even having to move from your seat, it isn’t always a safe place for children. Predators use the Internet to find young children who are incapable of making wise decisions. Accidentally leaking personal information can easily lead to huge problems.
It’s crucial that you protect your child as they use the Internet. As technology keeps advancing, it’s imperative that you stay current with the latest technology that your children might be utilizing in or out of school.
Internet Safety Measures to Take
- Block explicit websites
- Watch for cyber bullying
- Ensure your children aren’t the target of an online scam
- Teach them chat room safety or make sure they avoid chat rooms all together
- Make sure you have a secured Internet connection
- Avoid spam, phishing and malware
- Teach them how to avoid illegal downloading and pirating
While your children may not be intentionally visiting these websites, a misspelled word in a URL can have them surfing websites far beyond their years. Ensure that you have a parental code on websites containing anything other than child-friendly content.
It’s a sad reality about today’s youth, but cyber bullying is more common than ever. Monitor your child’s social accounts and online activity to ensure that not only are they not the victim of bullying, but that they themselves aren’t participating in bullying others.
Online scams aren’t just targeted towards seniors anymore. Tweens and young teens are often lured into thinking they’re getting a great deal on a new electronic, only to receive the package and realize they’ve received a poor quality knock off. If your children are at the age where they’re allowed to shop online, ensure you’re monitoring all purchases before checkout.
If your child is allowed to use chat rooms to talk with other kids online, ensure there are rules set in place. Make sure they’re only talking to kids they know offline, and stress the importance of never giving out personal information online.
Kids can make mistakes, but they shouldn’t compromise your overall Internet security. Ensure you’re using a secured Internet connection so if your child does make a mistake, it won’t cost you in the long run.
These are terms your children will likely not understand, but they’re important to your computer. Malware can infect your computer such a point that it becomes unusable, so ensuring you have a robust anti-virus before your children start using your computer is essential.
Not only is this against the law, but it increases the possibility that they’ll infect your computer with a virus or be exposed to mature material.
Ways to Manage and Monitor Your Children on the Internet
Fortunately, as technology grows and being online becomes almost second nature for many of us, Internet service providers and software developers provide us with ways to manage what are children can do on the Internet. Find an ISP that has child safety or parental control features. Many of these more secure and cautious ISPs will have ways for you to block, filter and manage what kids do while they are on the Internet.
Have a talk with your child as they get old enough to begin using the Internet. Of course, children are beginning to use online resources at early ages, especially when school begins. Talk with them about the dangers of being online. Explain to them that giving their personal information such as an address, name or phone number can lead to great danger. Make sure they understand that conversing with anyone they do not know is frowned upon.
Let your child know, depending on their age that meeting with anyone off the Internet isn’t wise. It is important that they understand how predators will pretend to pose as other children their age just to reel them in to an encounter with them. Let your child know that they should come to you if they ever notice anything suspicious or ever feel uncomfortable due to something online, they should come to you immediately.