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Similar to the real world, the internet has an evil side – readily available by your kids.
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There are plenty of adult sites,
questionable characters, hate groups, crime, bullying and misinformation that
can influence your children. Luckily there are ways in which you can ensure
your child doesn’t encounter the perils of the internet.
Parents should become familiar with every detail of
the cyber world that their children play in. As a parent would be familiar with
the local park or sporting ground, make sure you know your kid’s online
environment. It may take some time sifting through hundreds of websites, but it
will be worth it for the safety and mental health of your children. As your
child grows older, you can check their online environment less frequently.
How much time should children spend on the computer? Making house rules is a fantastic idea to control
spent on the internet. Decide how much time you are comfortable with your
children being online. You could also decide what sites they are allowed on.
Talk about the rules and the consequences of breaking them. If you have more than
one child, allocate days for using the computer in their free time.
Apparently, rules can be changed and altered
depending on your family, household and access to computers.
Teaching your child to protect their privacy could
be the most important aspect of this list.
Chances are they will not understand the consequences of revealing
personal information, but it still helps a lot. The earlier they learn, the
quicker they will understand.
They must never give their name, phone number,
e-mail address, password, postal address, school, or picture without your
permission from you, the parent. They should not open emails from people they
don’t know. Stay away from online forums and chats, and not respond to
dangerous or disturbing messages. Never accept invitations or meet with people
Keeping the location of your computer in a central
area of the house is an excellent idea. Unfortunately, laptops are very common
today so monitoring this can be difficult.
If you have multiple computers, only allow internet access to the ones
in your preferred location.
You want your children to trust you. If they see
something online that makes them uncomfortable or sad, ensure they can come to
you without you getting angry, blaming them or taking away their online
an internet service provider, comes
down to speed, data and cost, however, you can find providers that offer
parental control options. Do some research and see what services your provider
has, spending a little extra money to ensure the safety of your children could
be worth it. Some providers offer free
parental control that limits the children’s access to websites and
communication features by age, content categories, time, and other choices.
Browsers can manage parental control to a lesser
extent. When you use your ISP and your browser together, you can start blocking
out harmful content. Your internet browser will have some safe browsing options
ready to go. Windows and Internet Explorer will differ to Mac and Safari. You
will be able to filter our nudity, language, sex and violence on a scale. Using just your browser won't get you great
results, as we mentioned before, try using your ISP and your browser to work
together. Browsers can also be the aided by the use of VPNs. Check out some VPNs
for Windows and upgrade your security.
Search engines have settings that can be changed to
aid you and the safety of your children. A tech-savvy child can easily change
them back. Preferences can be made just like a browser, blocking out certain
harmful content. Some search engines will be safer than others.
At the end of the day, you can never be too safe.
The software can add another level of protection to your computer. Make sure
you find some software that reflects your values, you don’t want the software
becoming to the parental figure. Carry out the necessary changes to fit your
The software may come at a high price, make sure you
use the free trial periods to see what suits your family. Go online yourself
and do some research, they have been many parents in your situation previously.
Every household will have a different situation, be
sure to test out many options and see what works for you, trial and error.
Remember, you can spend some extra money to ensure the safety of your children.
Martha is a mother of two and a great time manager. She likes to cover articles on organisation, self development and travel.
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