When used right, the Internet is a wonderful thing, but it can turn into a dangerous place when children are left unsupervised. Internet predators are real, and they are extremely good at what they do. Internet safety for kids should be taken very seriously by parents not only to keep them from being preyed upon but also because of the many benefits that computers offer.
Some of these Internet safety tips may seem obvious; others may surprise you! It’s up to you as a parent of a young child; it’s up to you how you want to use the Internet in your home.
Internet safety tips for children
1. Teach them about the basics of internet safety
Children must learn Internet safety rules before they even get on the Internet. Parents’ biggest mistake is thinking their kids will never be exposed to anything terrible online, believing they will only use it for educational purposes. Keep Internet usage private. Internet predators can find out a lot about you by looking at your Facebook page. Never post where you are going or your address on your page because this information can be tracked and used against you.
2. Be careful who you friend online
Internet predators can appear to be your age or even younger, and they exploit your innocence to get close to you. Kids love playing games online with other people. Still, many Internet predators know how to lure in unsuspecting victims through computer games, chat rooms, and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Myspace.
3. Keep Internet usage private
Never post where you are going or your address on your page because this information can be tracked and used against you. Internet predators have been known to use this information to know when there is a party going on at the house across the street from them or a child’s sleepover next door. Internet predators love using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace because it helps them find out more about their victims which will help them lure out their prey faster. Kids need to understand that every time they put something online, it leaves a digital footprint that Internet predators can use to find them.
4. Set a time rule for internet usage
Internet usage can affect schoolwork, personal relationships, and your health. Predators use their victims’ lack of sleep to control them. Internet usage should be limited to no more than two hours per day, including any kind of entertainment that uses the Internet like online gaming, watching videos on Youtube, or listening to music on Pandora.
5. Teach them not to interact with strangers
Avoid using Internet chatting programs for communicating with people you don’t know. Internet chats are popular ways for Internet predators to get in touch with their prey because it’s harder for parents to monitor what is being said over the Internet since most chats appear in a pop-up box so kids feel they have privacy when their words are still being read by adults who know how to gather information from these chat sessions. Internet safety experts recommend Internet parents to make sure children don’t share personal information with strangers including their real name, home address, school name and location, photo of themselves or other individuals; children should understand Internet predators are not only people dressed in black trench coats lurking around playgrounds but people hiding behind monitors who can be anyone throughout the world.
6. Teach them to play it safe on social networking site
Children under 13 years old are restricted from joining social networking sites since it’s against the law for children that age to have an account registered on these sites, so they need parental supervision to open accounts on these websites. Internet safety experts recommend Internet parents register children to limited profiles, so they have no chance of being contacted by strangers who are after their personal
7. Internet safety with regards to cyberbullying
Experts have warned Internet users about the danger of being bullied on social networking sites, especially when children are involved. Parents should teach their kids how to avoid and deal with bullies and what to do if bullied.
8. Internet safety while using public computers
Although Internet safety experts say that Internet bullying is rampant in schools, there have also been cases where children were threatened by strangers who lured them out of their houses by either promising them a puppy or asking for help finding a lost pet. Children need Internet parents to remind them not to give out any information except their names and ages on Internet sites and never meet Internet strangers in person.
9. Internet safety at home
It is hard for Internet parents to monitor what their children do online, especially if they have more than one kid. Still, Internet safety experts say it is important for Internet parents not to miss a thing, even if this means spending time outside the computer’s room or having Internet locks installed on computers. Also, Internet parents can install Internet monitoring software such as Spyrix Personal Monitor to help them take control of what happens online.
The Internet helps us in various ways, but it can also be problematic for your child’s Internet safety. Internet parents should know the dangers that the Internet can pose to their children, and they need to learn Internet safety tips that will help them protect their kids.
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