How to Protect Children on the Internet
How do you teach your children about internet safety? It’s a question that’s been bugging most parents since Internet was made widely available and became more widespread. You try your best to raise your kids, then in your effort to make them independent you send them to the store on their own, and you have no clue what they will see between your house and store but you hope that you have raised them right enough to not to pay attention to anything wrong they see or at least be able to handle it well enough.
Children are enamored by the internet, for them it’s a magical place that can answer every and any kind of question you have, provide you an endless amount of animal sketches in any size that they can fill color in, have unlimited amount of videos of happy dogs and startled cats and everything and anything that they could ever want.
The internet is a magical place, it’s almost similar to stepping into another dimension of your own making, but how do you protect your child from fraudulent websites, from people waiting to harm them, from social network risks, viruses and more.
Children are more susceptible to succumb to the threats present on the internet, even as adults we sometimes end up falling prey to such schemes. Children being naturally curious and immature can easily be lured or threatened.
Teaching them about Internet safety is the job of the adults, even if it may seem daunting at first, and you will feel like you will mess up when teaching them because unlike the generation we weren’t born into the internet era. Kids now days can use their tablets and laptops or desktops and are very comfortable with technology in ways we probably could never be. Teaching children about internet safety and security is simple but it’s not easy. As there aren’t many guidelines provided as to how you can have a discussion about internet safety without them feeling like you are intruding into their space.
Start talking about internet safety at a young age:
Kids these days are very comfortable with technology being born with internet already present in the world. With the whole world on social media sites it’s common for kids now days to ask the same from their parents. So how do you protect your ten year old from the threats present online in social media, it’s as simple as starting to speak about internet safety at a young age, make your child aware about the different dangers present online. They may be browsing the web with you today, but it won’t be the same for a very long time.
Don’t do online what you wouldn’t do face to face:
One of the best rules to follow and to ask your kids to follow is a fairly simple one, don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do face to face in real life. It’s a very important rule when it comes to young adults and teenagers, if you won’t approach a stranger on the street and begin a conversation with them it wouldn’t be advisable that you do the same on social media, if you wouldn’t bully a person face to face there is no reason for mean remarks on internet to anyone. We need to make the children aware everything and anything they do online even if they are sitting among four walls and behind a screen is happening in real life.
Make your child your best friend:
We can enforce internet security for our children by installing the antiviruses, by blocking out the websites that they shouldn’t have an access to, using parental locks that are present in some antiviruses, being your child’s best friend when using the internet will make them want to keep you in their experience of internet, you will be the person they turn to for advice. You talking with your child and them talking to you is the first and the most difficult step but the most effective one you take for safety.
Communicate ! Communicate ! Communicate !
You should be at the top of your game when communication comes into question, the best way is to talk with your kids about everything and anything they see on the internet. They will see a few questionable things no matter what and no matter the amount of barriers that you put in place for their own safety. Some harmful things always have a way to filter out. So keep an open platform for communication with your kids, so they can approach you no matter what they find or come against on the internet.
The rules stay the same:
The rules that you follow in the real world should remain the same that you follow for the digital world. If your kid isn’t sure about something, they should ask any responsible adult about it or their parents. If you want to know who your kids are talking with in their daily life same should be followed in their digital life. If you want to know about anybody new who approaches your daughter/son in real life same should be with any new messages from unknown people they receive, a 10 year old girl/boy online could very easily be a 60 year old man on the other end.
Everything stays on the internet forever:
It’s always good to teach your kids that whatever they say or do and anything that they ever post will be forever found on the internet. So they should be careful about what they post online. If you wouldn’t want your parent or any adult looking at something that is posted, it shouldn’t be posted at all.
So what are the guidelines for your children to use when they require an access to the internet?
- Never share your home address, your school address, your telephone number, your schedule with anyone online.
- Be polite, kind and respectful.
- Be responsible.
- Never share your photographs online with anyone.
- Always have a responsible adult when you browse the internet.
If you find something creepy or weird happening report it to any responsible adult around you immediately.