There is a lot of content online that is inappropriate or dangerous for your children to view. Not only are there millions of sites with adult only content, people with criminal intentions are using the Internet in increasingly sophisticated ways, often exploiting the naivety of children.
Plus, in today’s digital age, children are often more computer literate than their parents. So how can you keep them safe while they surf online?
1. Establish ground rules: Let your kids know your expectations about the use of your computer. Set boundaries that you both understand and agree to.
2. Education is important: Let them know that while the internet is a fantastic research and social tool, there are people out there who would want to harm them or your family or content that they are too young to see. Remind them that nobody should request your personal details via e-mail or online chat.
3. Protect your computer: Make sure you have anti spyware and virus protection on your computer, set your spam filters, updated your firewall and have automatic backups of important documents and photos that you don’t want to lose (in case you get breached, or little fingers press the delete button by accident).
There are no cutting each technology to keep you kids safe, nor is banning the computer all together a solution. Use your judgement and be aware of when they’re online so you can step in when you need to. Awareness is the first step to knowing there could be an issue. Make sure the lines of communication are open between you and your children so they know they can come to you if something doesn’t add up online.
Image credit Ernst Vikne on Flickr