Internet Safety: Being Safe In the House with a Click of a Mouse
Article By: Maricella Raiford
Here are a few tips to ensure your kid’s safety while surfing the Internet over the summer. Follow these guidelines so you can still have peace of mind even while you are away.
Educate Your Kids– Let your children know that your main purpose for precaution is for their protection. Be sure they are aware that, although fun and games are accessed online, the Internet is also used by people with cruel intentions. Not everyone online is who they say they are. Have your kids think of the Internet as a cyber world where anyone has the freedom to be whatever they want to be, away from reality. For example, if someone says they are a 16-year-old teenager who loves sports, that doesn’t mean it is true, so it is not smart to begin a “friendship” and agree to meet in person, ESPECIALLY without your parent’s knowledge. Predators prey on young people who believe everyone is who they say they are.
Limit Your Kids–Boundaries need to be set and rules should be clearly communicated. Also, set firm disciplinary action when a rule has been broken. Your children need to see that you are serious about the matter. Always be aware of who your kids are contacting and what kind of photos are being sent and received. Inform your children that information exposed on the Internet is something online predators look for and will work to get out of you. Limit the amount of time your kids are allowed on the computer so it does not consume their entire day. Prevent them from getting bored online to where they are curious to go beyond their boundaries. Keep them busy and active away from the computer, tablet, or phone. Talk to your service provider and see what options are available on limiting messages, restricting sites, and tracking online searches.
Talk to Your Kids– It is understandable that your children need a phone to contact you in case of an emergency, but don’t let the tool for safety become a threat. Since kids can also access the Internet on smart phones, be sure you talk to them about mistakes that can be made online as well as the potential dangers they may be exposed to. Let your kids know it is safe for them to come to you if they find themselves in a compromising situation. You don’t want them to be scared to tell you a problem because they feel they will get in trouble. Ensure them that it is far better to tell you their mistake than to hide it out of fear. Listen to your children, hear what they have to say, and pay attention to their behavior. Sometimes they are giving you signs for help which could easily be overlooked.
Never lose communication with your kids, especially when it comes to using the Internet. By following these guidelines, you can make Internet usage safe, fun, and productive this summer.
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