Children Safety On The Web
The Internet exposes children to a whole new world which can contribute greatly to their education and can be very enjoyable.
In our dynamic technological world where knowledge is power, parents want their children to surf the Internet, and learn as much as they can. With this wish there is also the desire to protect our children.
The growth in Internet popularity is followed by a growth in immoral and criminal activities on the web. Hackers, crackers, web bullies, identity thieves, children predators all of them and more are out there in the cyber world.
Since this generation of children possess high technological skills, the main problem that parents face is the need to create boundaries for their children in a virtual world where the authenticity of communication is questionable.Â In order to protect our children and educate them to safe and productive internet activities we should become Internet savvy and get familiar with our children’s Internet experience.
Following are a few general guidelines:
- Keep the communication channels with your child open. Show an interest in your child’s internet activities. Supervise your child when surfing the Internet. It is important to try to understand your children experience when surfing the web, in order for you to guide and assist them.
- Be a role model to your child. Constantly talk with your child on what is right and what is wrong when surfing the web.
- Become Internet savvy. If you have knowledge about services and applications that are available on the Internet , you will be more effective when guiding your children. Sit with your children when they are surfing and try to learn as much you can about their habits. If you feel you don’t have enough knowledge you can use Internet security websites in order to gain more knowledge and confidence. In addition, you can also talk with other parents.
- Create a list of suitable websites. Give your children a list of websites that you find suitable for their age and that may interest them. Update this list on a regular basis with new websites in order to keep your kids interested. Once in a while, check if the websites you have selected are still suitable.
- Make sure that the PC your child is using is in a family space, so you can supervise them.
- Define clear guidelines for your children regarding Internet use. Different families may have different guidelines, but it is important that your children are aware of what you expect from them. Define the guidelines according to the child’s age group. You can also define an Internet use policy that your child will be obligated to.
- Instruct your child not to give away private information online. Private information may include: name, last name, home address, email address, home phone number, parents’ work phone number or place of work, school, passwords etc. This private information should not be exposed on any of the online communication tools that the child is using, such as: email, IM(=Instant Message), chatrooms, forums, virtual worlds etc.
- Help your children to create a safe username. If your children encounter websites which require using a username or a nickname, help them to create a nickname that will not reveal private information. For example, never use year of birth in a nickname which can reveal age (“Sara1995”).
- Supervise upload of personal photos. Instruct your child not to send or upload to the web personal photos or family photos without adult approval.
- Encourage your children to let you know if they encounter any strange behavior or behavior that caused them an uncomfortable feeling, when they surf the internet.
- You can use parental control tools and products that filter and/or monitor Internet surfing in order to control your children’s Internet activities.
- Install and use firewall and anti-virus programs that protects the PC from installation of malicious softwares.
About the Author
Sara Moses is a systems analyst consultant with ten years of experience in the field of Information systems.
Source: Articlebase.com - Children safety on the web