The Best Ways to Keep Your Child Safe on the Internet
Living in the 21st Century has it’s pros and cons, especially when it comes to the internet. Everything we’ve ever wanted to know is available with the touch of a button. However, that also means information we don’t want to see can be accessed and sometimes by mistake. This can be especially dangerous for children and it is important that as parents we make the internet a safe environment for them.
Children are naturally going to want to explore the internet and see what is happening in the world as they grow up. We have some tips to help you set some ground rules and ensure their safety is never compromised.
How much time are they allowed online?
The answer to this question will change depending on personal preference and how old your child is. Some parents would prefer that their child spent as little time as possible, whereas others don’t mind. Whatever you decide, make sure that the children understand the rules and the consequences for if they break them.
Learn about the internet with them
A great way to make sure that they are safe on the internet is to join them in browsing the web. Find out what kinds of websites they want to visit and keep an eye on them whilst they are on the computer. You don’t need to be with them all the time, but checking in on them every so often will help you feel assured that they are safe.
Teach them to be mindful of the dangers
While the internet can be fun and entertaining, it can also be dangerous to someone who doesn’t fully understand it. Make sure to teach them to protect their privacy at all times by never revealing their personal information, especially on social media where anyone can see it. They should never:
- Give their full name, phone number, address, emails or passwords to anyone online, even if they are a “friend”.
- Avoid opening emails from people they don’t know (it could be a virus).
- Never meet anyone in real life that they meet online, as not everyone is who they say they are.
Safety is the number one priority
While surfing the web, sometimes things can pop-up in windows that children wouldn’t want to see. This is where you can set up safe-surfing options that will automatically block any content that contains strong language, nudity or violence. By applying this to your computer you can rest easy knowing they are safe from damaging images. Most browsers will have an option built in to do this, but you can also buy more advanced software. Of course, it isn’t always possible to filter everything, so let your child know that they can come to you about anything they have seen or read.
Watch out for social media
With 2 billion people now using Facebook each month, it is more important than ever to keep your online identity safe. If you allow your child to have a twitter, Instagram or Facebook account, ensure they are using the security features offered to them, especially on Facebook where it can be easy for people to hack accounts.
We hope that these tips help you and your children enjoy the internet safely!