The internet has become an almost indispensable necessity for people of all ages, including the kids from a very young age. They like to play online games, they love to watch videos on YouTube, they connect with their friends on social media, and do so much more. Naturally, they want to stay online all the time. The internet itself is an incredible place to share ideas, gain knowledge, get entertained and interact with others. At the same time, the internet can be a dark place too. There is a lot of inappropriate content, false news, sexual predators, and unruly elements lurking in the shadows out there. Kids being kids take everything they see online at its face value. It is the duty of their parents and their guardians to supervise their children and educate them on how to use the internet safely and stay away from the dark corners of the internet.
Rules Are Good
Kids are not mature enough to understand how devious some people can be. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children do not become victims of such people. Protect the internet connection with a password, so that you have complete control over who accesses the internet. If the kids are prepubescent, then they should always be accompanied by a guardian when they are online. As for older kids, set up a time window during which they are allowed to access the internet. Furthermore, they should be able to access only a limited number of websites that have been personally vetted by you. Most importantly, discuss with them the consequences of breaking the house internet rules.
Be a Part of Their Life…..Online Too
Kids will always hide some things from their parents. This is especially true in the case of teenage kids. But, you should never let your child’s social life become a mystery to you. You should be on their friends’ list on all of their social media accounts. Do not embarrass them by commenting on each of their posts, but keep a tab on their activities on social media. Cyberbullying is a major problem today. If there is someone posting derogatory or obscene comments on their posts, you should jump into action. Also, ask them to share the login details of all of their social media accounts. Make it a habit to regularly browse through their social media accounts using their login details. If they are having private conversations with someone they should not, then you will know it.
Communicate the Dangers
While it may be uncomfortable for you to educate your child about the dark side of the internet, it is a job that you should absolutely do. Sit with them and make them understand why you are being so strict when it comes to their online activities. Also, help them understand the significance of their privacy. Ask them to never share their personal information to anyone online. They should not open emails from strangers, give into hurtful online bullies, and never go out to meet people they have only met online. It’s best if the talk about internet threats is combined with “the birds and the bees” talk as well. It’s never a good idea to delay these talks, as the online predators are targeting younger children more.
Technology is Your Friend
While communication is key when you want to safeguard your kids online, it’s definitely not enough. There are many software solutions out there that can help you block a variety of websites, and allow only child-friendly pages to be accessed on your home internet connection. Today, internet service providers and browsers allow you to customize your web browsing experience. They can filter out nudity, curse words, adult content, and violence from the internet searches. This way, you will be able to control your child’s online experience and safeguard them from the dark side of the World Wide Web.
Running an Internet Security program with Parental Control on your kids device will help stop unwanted threats causing harm to your kids.