How to Keep Your Children Safe on the Internet?

How to Keep Your Children Safe on the Internet

We all know the internet can be a dangerous place, even more so than real life, because we are exposed to many more dangers lurking from every corner of cyberspace. Children are an especially vulnerable group of internet users. Since they are not as discerning as adults, they tend to trust people more than they should. Unfortunately for their online safety, they are typically unaware of the existence of manipulation, bad intentions, and internet crime. It is our responsibility to successfully keep our children safe online just like in real life, and here are some tips on what we can do to ease this process.

Educate Yourself and Your Kids about the Internet

The first and most important step is to educate yourself on the advantages and the disadvantages of the internet, know that you can expect to deal with some dangers, and learn how to protect yourself and your children. Include your child by discussing online safety from an early age. Let them know how the cyber world is just like the real world and one must learn how to properly behave. Talk about prevention, passwords, anti-spyware, privacy on social networks, and basically anything you wouldn’t do online.

Get Involved

Kids are starting to use computers and other tech gadgets at increasingly younger ages, and you should make a habit of always being by their side when they go online. Make it a rule that they are not allowed to browse the internet alone, just like you wouldn’t let them go out in the street alone. It will become normal and you won’t have to worry much. Act as if you were watching your kid on the playground, only the internet is their online playground.

Keep Internet Access in a Central Spot

It is a good idea to keep internet access in a central spot like the living room or the kitchen where you can regularly check what is going on with everyone’s online activities. Kids can have their own computers and other technology in their rooms, but don’t let them be hooked to the internet. That way you can monitor them better, with or without the use of parental control software.

Define a Kid-Friendly Zone

The internet, of course, has many good sides to it as well. It has enormous resources to provide educational content, entertainment, and play. There are many websites your children are perfectly safe to spend time at and you should let them know what they are. Make a list of kid-friendly websites (like places they can play math games and practice reading, literacy, and so on), or just watch cartoons and play creative games. There are plenty of these, so the kid zone can be huge really. However, if they want to browse for anything outside of it, they need to ask for permission.

Teach Them How to Protect Their Privacy

This is a very important aspect of using the internet. Tell them they should never ever break these rules and explain the reasons. Set strict rules and tell them they won’t be able to use the internet or technology again if they break them. Here are the basic rules for online safety:

  • never share your personal information online – including your name, phone number, address, email address, password, or school info
  • never talk to strangers online
  • never respond to disturbing messages and report them immediately
  • never ever agree to meet with anyone you have met online
  • never open email or messages from people you don’t know
  • only accept friend requests from people you know in real life

It is important to teach your kids to treat their internet presence as they would real life situations – the general rule of thumb should be that they should never do online what they wouldn’t do in real life.

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate for writing. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

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