More and more kids are spending an increasing amount of time on the internet. And with ongoing technological development, there is every expectation that dependency on electronic devices and specifically the internet is only going to increase.
So instead of banning internet usage for your children, here are the things you need to do to keep them safe in the online world.
ISPs can be your ally in protecting your kids in cyberspace. They can recommend safety products and even free parental controls that can restrict the number of ways your kids can interact with cyberspace.
In addition to your ISP’s recommendations, you can protect yourself with security products such as VPN services, anti-virus, a password manager and other security products. Many protection suites offer tools that can help you monitor your children’s posts and keep tabs on your children from an early age.
While the internet is generally a great place to be and learn from, it has its dark corners where bad guys lurk. Online predators form just one part of those dark corners. As parents, it’s imperative that you talk to your children about what is considered appropriate online behavior. Most internet service providers offer parental controls which parents can set to block inappropriate content and keep online predators away from their children.
As a part of your online protection for your kids' internet, your children need to trust you from an early age. As soon as your children start using the internet, you should know what they are reading and watching.
Be involved with your children online, so that you’ll know where your child is interacting to strangers online and whether that online activity can lead to something negative.
At the same time, you should be accessible enough to your child, so the two of you can discuss the apps and websites your child uses when on the internet.Be sure pay attention to the websites your child visits frequently. After that, talk openly with your kids about what is allowed and not allowed during their online time.
You will have to monitor your kid's online activities and internet use with the help of security tools that are readily available in the market today. Talk to other parents about how they keep their kids away from harm online and what type of tools they use.
It is strongly recommended to have their computer in a central spot and not hidden away from you. Starting at a young age, get your children used to the idea that they are to use laptops, tablets, and/or consoles in public areas of your home – not shrouded in secrecy in their rooms. Trust between you and your child is key.
It is easy for adults to understand that sometimes people are not who they say they are in the online world, and especially on various popular websites enabling our social networks.
Because of that, must come to an agreement with your children about how their online activities will be regulated. You must have access to their contacts on social media websites. And you need to monitor their posts as well.
Some of the basic guidelines kids need to know about from the get-go include not posting or trading personal pictures with strangers they met online. Teaching them what is private and what is not private and intended for sharing is important. They should never go to a get-together party with people they only know online.
Your kid should not exchange personal information with anyone online nor reveal personal information to anyone. Personal information includes his/her home address, current location, school name, or phone number.
Kids should also understand that they don't have to respond to negative messages on various social media forums and websites. In case they come across something hurtful, they should learn to talk to you about it.
Protecting kids in the online world doesn't have to be complicated or expensive, provided you follow the above guidelines.
Ultimately, you have to make sure your child isn't afraid of talking to you about their experience in the online world.
For all its negatives, cyberspace offers many educational, social, entertainment, and other kinds of benefits.