The internet is unquestionably a wonderful place to learn, interact with other people and have fun. It is not an adult restricted area, but it can be dangerous for kids. Moreover, parents should pay attention to what their young ones are doing online, in order to ensure that they are safe and free from the countless threats of the virtual world. Precaution is never harmful and taking a few preventive measures every day will guarantee the protection of your kids.
The Power of Parental Supervision
We are living in the digital age, so preventing children from using the internet is practically impossible. However, there are ways to keep them safe, even without the physical supervision of an adult. The development of new programs and tools that allow parental supervision is possibly one of the greatest achievements for parents. There is a large variety of options for software specialized in blocking and restricting certain types of content for underage users.
The cyber laws are also useful tools to combat online criminals, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) aims at protecting private information of young children. According to the law from 1998, social network and websites in general are forbidden to ask for detailed information from users under the age of 13. Furthermore, they are discouraged from allowing minors to register accounts, at the cost of dissolving the governmental rule.
Basic Parental Control Rules
The simple act of talking and investing time in a child can literally save their lives. If your son or daughter is demonstrating signals of strange behavior, it is time to find out what they are doing online. Additionally, small strategies like keeping the computer in the living room, surely contributes to monitoring the virtual activities of the children. Furthermore, parents should always check the history of the PC and mobile devices, that way they will know if something is wrong before anything bad can happen.
Another important action is to investigate the online safety programs offered by the school that your children attend, along with friend’s houses and other places with open access to computers. Sometimes kids pay attention to simple actions, so it is important to be an exemplar parent about the internet. Don’t ever ignore your child to spend time on the web, let them know what is right and wrong, and what to avoid online.
Regular Communication is Necessary
Communication is the key to achieve a healthy relationship with the young ones. Information is never too much, so it is important to instruct the kids about minor details, tell them that private information should never, ever be given away to people online. Another important lesson to teach is that the virtual world is composed by people of all kinds, and not everyone is honest. Therefore, arranging to meet someone in person is something that should be avoided at all costs. With the benefit of a valid conversation combined with a content filter, such as the Net Nanny, for example, the child will have fewer chances to access inappropriate content. In addition, they will not be as vulnerable online as they would be if they didn’t have knowledge of the risks.
Educate your Children about Online Safety
Every child needs guidance about all situations in life, and with proper counseling, they will be able to tell when something is wrong. Parents are strongly advised to instruct their kids about the countless risks they are running when connected to the internet. Simple acts of shopping online for example, can lead to extremely uncomfortable situations, such as having the credit card details stolen by a cyber-criminal.
Fortunately, there are resources that can be perfectly useful in the process of educating a child about the dark side of the web. For instance, books are genuinely helpful and efficient educational instruments. An excellent recommendation is the Internet Kids – Road Trip, it is an eBook aimed at kids. The exciting story about a family road trip does the job of teaching children about the online dangers, and they will absolutely adore the adventure. At the end, the young reader will find a list of online safety tips that will encourage them to stay safe on the web.
About Anna Blake
Anna is a stay at home mom, wife and owner of very demanding cat, from sunny Chatsworth, California. When she is not busy chasing her 2 year old around, you can find her trying out new salad recipes or re-watching favorite chick-flick movies.
Together with her hubby they educate kids and adults about internet safety through their website and recently created an educational children’s book “Internet Kids – Road Trip”.