No matter where your child is, they have access to the internet. How do you make sure that your child is safe while using the internet? Today we will take a closer look at that issue and see what places like the FBI and Netsmartz.org have to offer in terms of internet safety for children.
Are you aware of your child’s internet usage?
According to Netsmartz.org, out of teenagers ages 12-17, 95% are online.
Before your child can be safe online, you must know the basics of online safety yourself so that you can instill these things in your child. Kids use many different services and visit a great deal of sites online. Each site and service that they see will have its own safety concerns but no matter what your child is doing online, there are a few tips.
• Make sure that the child uses a computer in an area in your home that is a high traffic area
• Decide and talk with your child about the sites allowable and the time limit allowed
• Monitor not just the computer but also cell phones and gaming devices
• Have your child(ren) show you their favorite web sites and wheat they enjy doing online
• Know who is talking with your child, not only online but also through cell phones and gaming devices.
• Disable the web cam
• Talk with the child about how to be safe online
Some of the things that your child may be dealing with online are things like cyberbullying, online predators, inappropriate material and letting too much personal information get out. By making sure that your child knows what is ok and what is not ok is critical in internet safety.
What you can do in order to protect your child
The FBI lists a few things that you, as a parent can do to keep your child from being a victim of online threats. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
• Talk with your child openly about the potential from danger on the internet and even sexual predators
• If your service provider offers parental controls, use them in conjunction with a good blocking software. Monitor any and all chat rooms that your child visits.
• Maintain access to your child’s e-mail and online accounts and make a habit of randomly checking them.
• Teach your children that there is more to be found online than games, chat rooms and social media
• Discern what safeguards are in place with regards to internet safety for children at the child’s school, their friends’ houses and even at the library.
There are also some recommended instructions for children. They are:
• Never meet anyone from online in person
• Never send pictures of themselves to anyone they do not know personally
• Never post information such as home address, phone number, real name or school name
• Never download images as they could be harmful or include sexually explicit content
Above all, be vigilant. Your children may not think about these things, but with an open line of communication you can keep them as safe as possible.