In the world today, there are many people who take advantage of children. It used to be that we had to worry about predators in parks and playgrounds, and in our neighborhoods. In today’s society, we now have to watch and protect them from online predators.
Statistics indicate that children who use the Internet often are targeted by online predators more often because they can disguise themselves as same age as the child using the Internet. There are however, guidelines for parents to follow in order to protect their children from the dangerous side of the Internet.
Protect Your Passwords
It is critical that you limit your child’s access to certain Internet sites. One way to do this is to password protect your computer and under no circumstances give those passwords to your children. Most children will share passwords with their friends and it defeats the purpose of having them. Passwords will also alert you when your children use the Internet, and you can keep a better watch over what they are doing. They will not be able to sneak on the computer when you are sleeping or at work because they will not know what the passwords are.
Monitor Computer Time
It is very important that you monitor what your children are doing online. Tell your child what is appropriate and what is not. Warn them of the dangers of online communication. Sit your child and watch what they do and say online. More importantly, watch what is said to them. If you are suspicious, keep a log of what is said and contact the local authorities.
Blocking access to sites that are not appropriate will go a long way in protecting your child. Many Internet providers provide tools that will allow you to better control your child’s time on the Internet. Using parental controls to protect your children is advisable to all parents. With them, you can set the parameters to keep your children safe. With parental controls, you block sites and chat rooms that you feel may be unsafe for your children.
Parental controls are a great resource for parents in the fight to keep children safe. However, it is not a parental replacement or babysitter. Studies have shown that parents who have direct involvement in their child’s Internet use have fewer incidents of predatory harassment.
Kid Safe Browsers
Because of the growing problem of online predators, safeguards have been developed. Kid safe browsers are specifically made for children and do not allow certain keyword searches to be performed.
Children are extremely vulnerable to Internet predators because they are by nature very trusting. It is important that you teach them safety protocol. It is important that they understand that under no circumstances should they ever give out their personal information on the Internet, and explain to them why these precautions are necessary.
It may be difficult to explain why these precautions are necessary without scaring your child, however, being cautious is very important when it comes to online safety. Some children are willful and will give their information anyway. This is when it is necessary to restrict their online activity altogether until they are more responsible.
Pre-teen children should always have a parent present to monitor what their activities are. They may not appreciate you looking over their shoulder; however their safety should be your number one priority. When it comes to your child and the Internet, there is no such thing as being overprotective.