How To Keep Your Children Safe On The Internet
The internet can be a wonderful resource and educational tool for your children, but it can also contain many dangers. This VideoJug film shows you the best ways to keep your children safe on the internet.
Step 1: Personal information
It is important to make your children understand the importance of keeping your identity details safe online, especially as they get older, and have bank and mobile phone accounts of their own. Tell them to never give out their name, age, phone number or bank details over the internet.
Step 2: Don't be gullible
One of the most important rules of the internet is don't believe everything you read online. Whether this is an email offering you the financial opportunity of a lifetime, or someone claiming to be your child's age on a chat room, stress to your child to not be too trusting of others on the internet.
Step 3: Do your research
It is important to get to know the websites and services that your children are using. The internet is their home turf, and if you don't know what you are talking about, your children will be able to run rings around you. You can use the links in the history folder to go to the sites they have visited. Argue from a position of strength, and in the process you may find some sites you enjoy too!
Step 4: Get to know their online friends
Much like you know the names of their best friends from school, try and find out who your children are talking to online. If your child wants to meet an online friend in person, make sure they always tell you, take along someone they trust, and meet in a public place.
Step 5: Encourage them to talk to you
It is important that your children feel they can come to you with anything bad that has happened to them online. Encourage children to tell you about anything they find that is suggestive, obscene, threatening or makes them feel uncomfortable.
Step 6: Don't jump to blame
If your child accesses something obscene, don't automatically assume they have done this deliberately, as it is easy to click onto a site accidentally. Be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Step 7: Computer location
Try and make the internet a family activity by placing their computer in a communal area rather than in their bedroom. The more you use a computer as a babysitter, or something to get them out of your hair, the less you will know about your child's activities.
Step 8: Security software
There are programs available that can help you both monitor what your child is doing on the internet, and block content altogether. Monitoring systems like iambigbrother can record which sites have been visited and what has been typed. Filtering systems like cyberpatrol can block content it detects as being dangerous or offensive, although they are not infallible. Before you start using these types of software, think about the fact that your kids could see it as spying, and the lack of trust implied may upset them.
By taking precautions, it is possible to let your children enjoy the internet without worry. Enjoy a safe time surfing the web.