Since the advent of the internet and the increased popularity of its usage in everyday life, many have discovered its potential harm to children. If you want to protect your children from the negative aspects of the internet, you should set rules and guidelines. It is unreasonable to ban them from the use of the internet seeing that it is a useful tool to have, so limiting their access and teaching them what you think is appropriate is the right approach.
Though the internet is great for keeping in contact with people around the world as well as providing information useful for school and other purposes, it can present negative situations for their users. Not only does it expose children to offensive language and behaviors, but it may detract from a child’s development in terms of school, physical activity and social activities. As a result, you should ensure that time limits for internet usage are set in place and adhered to.
Limit Time and Access
Limiting their access is achievable by setting parental controls. Parental controls allow you to block certain websites and email addresses, set time limits for use and prohibit the search of specified words. Parental controls should be discussed with your child before you implement them. This will aid their understanding of the potential dangers. It will also make them aware of websites you believe are inappropriate. Setting realistic limits is achievable by getting on the internet and seeing for yourself how it is used.
Smart Computer Location
When setting guidelines, an important thing to consider is the location of the computer. If you want to keep a watchful eye on what your kids are doing online, it’s not a good idea to put the computer in their bedroom or any other location where a parent won’t be a constant parental presence. A recommended location is in the family room with the screen facing outward so you can easily monitor what is going on.
Warn Your Children
You should make it clear to your children that people on the internet aren’t always who they portray themselves to be and may pose a danger to them. They should also be taught that issuing personal information such as their name, home address, telephone number banking information, and passwords can lead to financial scams or bullying or worse! They should never try to keep secrets about anything that they deem as threatening or worrying away from you. For instance, cyber bullying must be reported to you as you can filter the addresses with the parental control list.
Keep a Watchful Eye
As a parent, you have full rights to check the history folder on the browser to check on what websites they have been visiting. You can also share your child’s email account and password if necessary. You can use online parental tools to route your child’s email first to your account so you can do your own filtering.
Following the tips mentioned above should be a sufficient means of keeping your children safe online. But in the event that their safety has been compromised, you can contact your internet service provider. They can be helpful if your child stumbles upon unsuitable content or has been exposed to inappropriate online contact. You should also update filtering software that protects against unsuitable internet access on a regular basis.