Do you have children that want to go online. This can be a scary idea for any parent, but it is not something that you can stop in today’s world. The best thing you can do is teach them about internet safety and use these tips to help you get a better understanding of what needs to be done to keep your child safe online.
Take Advantage of Parental Controls
Most computers and electronic devices today come with parental controls. While this may seem like a pain to set up, you will be thankful you did as it can help to keep your child safe. While it will not keep them from going to every page that could be a threat, it will keep them away from the vast majority which is why this is important. Along with this, you should also make sure that the safe search settings are on with any search engine you use.
Create Rules for the Internet
Just as with anything else in life, you need to establish rules for using the computer. You can post them by the computer so your child can see them at any time. With this, you should also have a list of consequences when they break the room.
Teach Your Child about Transparency
While privacy is important to teach children, it is also helpful to teach them about transparency. This means that one of the rules that you should implement is that your children need to allow you to see what they have done online. You can also use this as a way to teach them about checks and balances to ensure they are following the rules for proper internet safety.
Remember to be Their Role Model
Having rules in place is important for internet usage. However, if you are not following the rules you have put in place, then there is no point to enforcing the rules because chances are your child will not follow them anyway. Take the opportunity to lead by example and show your child how to properly be a good cyber citizen.
Review Internet Safety Regularly
Even though you go over internet safety and most schools today teach it as well does not mean this is something you do not want to bring up. It is no different than with a conversation about drugs or alcohol. Having one discussion and then never talking about it again is not the way to go. Make sure you keep open communication with your child and have refresher conversations to go back over this information.
Know Who Your Kids Chat with
Online chats are popular with many school age children, which can be fun when done in the right context. Ask your child about who they talk to when they are online. If they do not know the person in real life, then you should find out how they know the person and take the various precautions to ensure that they are not talking with an online predator.
There are a number of ways that you can keep your child safe when they are online. The best tool you have for this is your voice. Simply keeping an open dialog with your child is important because it allows you to stay updated on what they are doing. Your child should know they can come to you when there is a situation and should be comfortable with this.
Internet safety for children can seem like a huge task for any parent. There are some tips that can help you to keep your children safe when they are online. Adapted from a post on the anti-bullying website NoBullying.com