There is no denying that the internet plays a big role in our lives. Children even use it as a vital tool to support their studying. If used for this purpose alone, the internet is a fun way to teach the children about health and well being. The internet will not change its course of how it influences our children in their education and social interaction. The internet has also a dark side, as there are plenty of risks and challenges involved, particularly with children.
We have lots of information available that can help children from potential harm over the internet. A deep understanding of online safety is a top priority for both parents and teachers, who are responsible for providing internet access to young children and teenagers. Although there are safety measures in place for secure searches, it shall never replace the supervision of teachers and parents alike.
If you are unsure about how to encourage safety on the internet for your kids while surfing the net, here are a few tips:
Personal Information. Advise your kids not to give out personal information without asking for your permission first. Remind your kids not to share their last name, home address, school name or phone numbers. Explain to them that when someone is asking for information, it does not mean that they have to reveal everything about themselves.
Screen Name. Tell your kids when creating a screen name; it should not include personal information like last name or birthday.
Passwords. Reiterate to your kids that they should not be sharing their passwords to anyone, but you. Remind them to always double-check that they log out of their account when using public computers.
Photos. Your kids should only post photos and videos on the net with your permission.
Online Friends. Tell your kids that you should not meet an online friend without your permission. There are many bad people on the internet and not everything you read on the internet is true. Make sure you impart this truth to your kids regularly.
Online Ads. Everything imaginable is available for sale on the internet. Ask your kids to talk to you first before buying anything. Some freebies that come with purchase are bait to get personal information.
Downloading. Your kids should talk to you before downloading any attachments or software programs because they sometimes contain viruses.
Bullying. Remind your kids not to send or respond to mean insult messages. Your kids should tell you if they receive mean messages.
Social Networking. Most social networking websites, like Facebook, require people to be at a legal age requirement before signing up. They are there for a reason. Make sure your kids understand these guidelines.
Research. When your kids have research to do, recommend accurate and safe websites. There are many resources available at the public library.
Parents or guardians should stay well informed and cautious when their child is accessing the web. You cannot keep them from using social networking, instant messaging or blogging; the best way is to help them use the internet safely.