Keeping kids safe online was, for a long time, a big concern for parents. But familiarity breeds contempt, and so it went for the internet, too. Many people have stopped considering the risks of letting their children roam wild online, and yet the danger never slackened. Keep your kids safe online with these simple tips.
Software is available allowing you to log keystrokes and restrict access to certain areas of the web. Additionally, many operating systems allow you to create an account for your child on your computer, which is restricted in what it’s allowed to do – install new software, visiting certain types of websites, and so forth. Research these options carefully and don’t hesitate to make use of them; they can make a huge difference in the types of situations your child is or isn’t able to get involved in.
Research games with equal care; some allow a large amount of communication between players, opening up the possibility of bad people discussing inappropriate topics with your child and necessitating supervision; others are designed with kids in mind and allow you to relax in the knowledge that your child is safe.
If you feel your child should be able to play certain games under your direct supervision only, install them under your own account so your child can use his or her account on the computer with some independence – but is unable to engage in activities you wish to supervise without your permission.
Discussing your fears with your child can be amazingly informative, if done well. Obviously, you needn’t go into harrowing details about your concerns, but making it clear why you won’t allow him or her to engage in certain activities and explaining how important it is never to give out personal information online, will allow your child to understand the course of action you have chosen. It will also let him or her begin to form an informed opinion and strategy for coping with the risks of online behaviour as time wears on.
Facebook and other social networking sites often have a lower age limit. Ensure your child sticks to it, or if not make sure you are the person in charge of their account. If you allow them their own account, make sure you are able to view it whenever you want to keep an eye on their activity and ensure they are not overstepping any bounds. As time wears on and your child grows older, you will be able to grant them greater autonomy and privacy in this area.
With the advent of the internet, many concerns reared their heads. As time has made the internet an everyday commonplace idea, parents have become more lax with their approach to internet safety. Use these hints to keep your children safe online and you’ll be able to relax, knowing they are learning to make the right decisions in the future.