These days, kids want to be on the internet all the time. And while it can be a fantastic tool for learning and playing, remember that it can be a dangerous medium when it comes to online predators, for example. Here are some strategies to make sure your kids stay safe.
While your kids can learn a great deal from and enjoy plenty of games on the web, it can also be a source of danger. Online predators may be looking to engage in conversation (or worse) with your child, so establishing some safety guidelines is critical. Here are some ways to keep your kids safe when it comes to the internet.
Talk to them about safety concerns
Be open about the possible dangers they may come across online, from sexual predators to scammers, and discuss how they shouldn’t interact with strangers online and what they should do if they are approached (come and let you know).
Establish some internet rules
Set some specific rules for your child when it comes to surfing the web. Your rules should outline what type of websites they’re allowed to visit; in fact, set bookmarks of the URLs that are considered acceptable. As an extra precaution, prohibit your kids from downloading or installing anything on the computer without checking with you first. Your rules should also outline how much time and when they’re allowed to be on the internet. Make sure to enforce these rules.
Set safety controls on the family computer
Even if our child sticks to your rules, it is still possible they’ll stumble onto pornographic or violent material, or let in a computer virus while surfing the net. Take the time to set your search filters and invest in parental control tools that prohibit access to these types of sites. In addition, review (and regularly monitor) your son or daughter’s contact lists to make sure their contacts include only friends and family; also remember to check their privacy settings to ensure their profiles are not open to the public.
Teach them what is appropriate to share on social media
Enforce the notion that whatever your child chooses to share on social media, including comments, pictures and video becomes permanent and accessible, and can have a negative effect on their reputation. And, of course, they also need to learn not to post any personal information such as your address or phone number.