Child Internet Safety
Child safety on the Internet: Tips to help parents keep kids safe
Today, most kids in Western society have access to the Internet. The majority of people consider this a good thing because the Internet holds a vast amount of information, opens up a whole new social world and brings together people from all over the planet. However, these very same aspects are reasons for parents to worry about what their children do on the Internet and what kind of people they meet.
Here are six tips for parents to keep their kids safe online:
- Set rules. First and foremost, it's important that you, as the parent (and just as in any other situation), provide clear rules for your children to follow when on the Internet. Ask the children what they're interested in doing and, from there, agree on what they're allowed to do and where they're allowed to go.
- Be helpful and trustworthy. Let the children know that, should anything uncomfortable appear, they can and should ask you for advice. Help your children understand what suitable content is and how to deal with unwanted material.
- Know the situation. Most grownups are used to the Internet, but what you do on the Web is probably not the same as what your children do online. Take the time to check out the sites they visit and get to know them better. You can't help your children unless you know what their sites are all about.
- Share passwords. While it is still important that you allow your children to have privacy even on the Internet, some children and their parents may agree to share the children's passwords so the parents can see what the children are doing. However, this won't work for all families, and it's better to trust your children than to constantly keep track of their activities behind their back.
- Inform. Inform the children about what issues may occur when they're online. If the children know what to look out for, chances are actions can be taken based on their own judgment.
The following guidelines are excellent things to teach your children before letting them spend time on the Internet by themselves. By following these, the children will be well protected against various negative sides of the Internet:
- Don't agree to meet people in real life that you've met on the Internet.
- Don't give out any information such as phone numbers, addresses or passwords to people you meet on the Internet.
- Ask a parent for advice if you're unsure of a situation.
By following the above tips and teaching your children the guidelines, you make the Internet a much safer place. While it's important that you know what your children are doing online, the aspect that should carry the most weight is that you, as the parent, can feel safe and know that your children won't get into any kind of trouble. If parents have a healthy attitude towards the Internet, odds are that so will their children.