Internet safety for your children
The internet can be a brilliant resource for your children. They can find material for their projects, keep themselves updated on the latest developments and also develop new skillsets. But like a coin, the internet has two sides to it. While it offers your child a world of entertainment and education, it is also a lurking place for predators and fraudsters.
As a parent how can you keep your children – no matter how old they are - safe online? How can you ensure they do not get involved with any predators or make mistakes which can put them in danger?
The following internet safety tips will help you with this.
1. Make sure you spend time with them when they are on the computer.
2. Set up parental controls and content filtering on computers, tablets, smartphones, and other gadgets.
3. Teach your children never to give out their personal information like name, address, phone number, school/college name etc. without your permission.
4. Password-protect all folders which contain personal and family pictures. This way you can be sure your children are not uploading these pictures without your permission.
5. Ensure your children understand that they are not allowed to personally meet anyone, they met online, without your permission.
6. Keep the computer/laptop in the common room and not in individual bedrooms, so you can monitor its use.
7. As parents, monitor your credit card bills for unfamiliar charges. Children can be easily lured to make purchases online.
8. Bookmark your children’s favourite sites, so they can get to it easily.
9. Monitor the amount of time your child spends on the computer. Excessive time online, especially at night should be considered as a red flag.
10. Do not allow your children to use the webcam when you are not around. Ensure they know it’s to be used only for family video calls.
11. Make sure you always logout of all your websites, especially if you access money transferring websites frequently, to transfer money home. Keep changing the password frequently.
12. Maintain a healthy and open relationship with your child, and establish an atmosphere of trust, so that they will come to you for help in uncomfortable situations.
13. Take your child seriously if he/she reports any such incident.
14. If you child has a ‘new’ friend online, then insist on being introduced to this friend.
15. Make them understand that they should not bully anyone online nor respond to anyone who is bullying them. Bullying can be a criminal offense and strict actions will be taken against anyone who participates in it.
Taking an active role in monitoring your kids' internet activities will help guarantee that they benefit from it without being exposed to any potential dangers.