Never leave anything to chance! Prepare your children for the dark side of the internet.
Sex predators, pornography, and cyber bullying have destroyed the lives of many young people, and no parent wants to go through the hurt of seeing their child’s life destroyed by the internet.
But with technology always changing, parents can find it hard to ensure that their children are safe online.
According to parenting.com, one of the first things a parent has to do is to step into the cyber world and try to familiarise themselves with the internet.
This will help parents know some of the things their children expose themselves to and garnering information will also help parents guide their children along the right path.
Let’s take a look at ways you can ensure that your child is safe online:
Explain to them about the dangers of the internet
Children may not necessarily understand that the internet is like the normal world; there are dangerous people on the net that have the potential to take advantage of you. So start by telling your children about the dangers that come with the internet, like cyber bullies and sexual predators, who form relationships with young girls in order to take advantage of them at a later stage.
Warn them against strangers
If you have taught your children not to speak to strangers or accept gifts from strangers, tell them the same applies on the internet. Let them know how predators can pretend to be who they are not and can offer gifts to their targets, and to ensure they are safe, they should avoid speaking to strangers.
Never give out locations
One of the things that can put your child in danger is them giving out their location, because this would make it easier for anyone who wants to take advantage of them to find them. Tell your children never to give out their location, e-mail address, password, postal address, school, or picture, and if anybody asks for it, they must talk to you about it and get your permission.
Have an open relationship
As a parent you can try everything to protect your children, but with technology always advancing, your knowledge can be limited, so one of the best measures of protection you can ever take is to ask your children to know that they can talk to you about anything, including any fears.
Place your PC in a public place
Make sure the computer is in a public place where you can see it, not in your child’s bedroom. If their screen is visible, children would unlikely go to dangerous sites such as dating sites or ones with adult content. Also don’t allow them to be on the computer in the late hours of the night.
Make sure you set a time limit
Don’t leave your children unattended on the computer while you go to sleep, because this could give them time to visit dangerous sites.
Talk about passwords
Depending on the kind of relationship you have with your kids and how old they are, you can let them know that they are not allowed to set passwords on the computer or on their phones. This will ensure that you can access their phones and computers without any need to put in passwords.
Speak to your internet service provider
Speak to your internet service provider about blocking dangerous sites, if you cannot do it yourself. Most service providers will gladly help you.
Warn against emails from strangers
Ask your children not to open any emails from people they do not know or spam messages. Let them know that the messages could contain viruses or could be from predators.
Once information is out, you cannot erase it
Let your children know that whatever they place on the internet will be stored forever. Truth is, although there is a delete button, information can be recovered from the internet. When it comes to sharing pictures, let them know they shouldn’t share anything that has the potential of damaging their image. Talk to them about how certain information and pictures they share can cost them their careers or influence how people perceive them. Make them understand that what they do online is captured forever and can come back to bite them.