The internet affords us easy access to a lot of information but it is also crawling with people and information that can be harmful to children. Some web pages and content on the Internet are not suitable for all audiences. Below is a listing of different steps you can do to help ensure your child is protected from harmful material or web pages you believe are not suitable for your children.
Talk to your children about the dangers of the Internet and what they should not do while on the Internet. Below is a basic listing of what you may consider discussing with your child:
Personal Information – Never give personal information about yourself in chat rooms, web pages, or online forms.
Never meet someone – Never agree to meet an individual from the Internet without the parents or guardian at the agreed meeting location.
Internet Purchases – Never enter an area that costs money, requires a credit card or requires personal information.
Downloads – Never accept a file or download from another user.
Web page – Do not visit web pages that are sent to you in e-mail, chat, or instant messengers without a parent or guardian present.
Gifts – Never accept any gift from users you meet online.
Friends – Don’t give out your friends’ information as it could be tied to you.
Personal pictures – Never send someone a personal picture online or on a cell phone.
Talking about sex or provocative images – When online don’t talk about sex, post provocative images, or tease other people online.
Talk to you – If your child ever witnesses something that upsets them or makes them feel uncomfortable, make sure they know it’s ok to talk with you.
Monitor or browse the Internet with your kids and try to keep the computer in an open area. Don’t allow your child to have their own computer in their own room. If you need to monitor your children’s use while you’re away consider a third-party filter programs that help protect your computer from inappropriate sites.
View Internet History
Make sure your child is not viewing any web pages they should not be viewing by looking at the Internet browser’s history or make sure they are not deleting the history in order to hide what they are viewing. Look at the browser address bar or location bar for additional information about what was typed in the browser address bar.
View IM buddies
If your computer has an Instant Messenger program such as MSN, make sure that their friend list or buddy list doesn’t have anyone you do not know of.
Social networking sites
Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are a very popular destination for teens and younger users on the Internet because of the ability to communicate with friends and make new friends over the Internet. Unfortunately these locations are also frequently visited by online predators because of online pictures and personal information posted by many of users participating on them. If you allow your children to use these sites make sure they are not posting personal information about themselves as mentioned earlier in this document. We also strongly encourage that parents or the child who setup the account set their profile to private so only their friends and family can view the profile.
Become their friend
It’s also a good idea that if your child is on a social networking site that you do the same and become their friend. Doing this is a great way to see what your child is doing and posting.
Know the lingo
The Internet especially with younger users is full of acronyms, lingo, codes, and other terms that can be used to disguise what is being talked about
If your computer has any digital camera or webcam connected to it prohibit your child from using it without your presence or disconnect or disable it when you’re not using it.
Protect them in games
Many children and adults play online games. Just like the Internet children should know not to give out any personal information to other players or participate in any trading of in-game items for in-game services or real life personal information.
Source: computerhope.com, 6/6/2013