In the modern world, children are exposed to the internet at an early age and most schools now use the internet as a regular part of teaching both in class and for homework. While surfing the web can be beneficial to children, it pays to make sure they are safe online.
Harness your computer’s power
To prevent access to certain internet sites, you can set parental controls. You can either buy software or use the settings on your browser or search engines. These will block unsuitable websites such as those with bad language or nudity. You should also browse websites yourself in order to check the suitability. A quick search will bring up a number of child friendly websites and you should limit your child to only using sites you are comfortable with.
Set ground rules
If your children use the computer a lot, then make sure it is somewhere where you can see it. It should be in a quiet place if they need it for homework, but keeping computers in public areas rather than in bedrooms allows you to monitor the sites your child is visiting. You may also like to set rules such as how long they can spend on the computer and whether they need special permission before visiting certain sites.
Encourage them to keep themselves safe
While young children may not fully understand, older children can learn to keep themselves safe online. Talk to your child about the importance of not giving out details such as real names or email addresses without your permission. If they use chat rooms aimed at children, then discuss how to choose a username that will not reveal too much and remind them not to arrange to meet anyone they do not know offline.
Lastly, make sure your children feel they can talk to you if they do accidentally see anything that disturbs them on the internet, or if they feel threatened in any way. Following a few simple rules such as these can keep your children safe while enabling them to learn to use technology that is prevalent in their world.
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