Internet Safety: 8 Ways to keep your kids safe



The Internet was in its infancy when I was a teen.  In the two decades since there have been many improvements and unfortunately more risks associated with using the Internet.
  Social media is something that is like second habit and all teens want to partake in what sites are available.  Applications like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat make it possible for them to communicate with friends and family all across the world.  The downside is that there are strangers that can see their information or request friendships with them.  We have done our best to teach about stranger danger, but dangers lurk inside the computer.  How do we explain stranger danger when they are unseen?  How can we protect them from themselves?

Tips for Safety
1. Require Internet use in a safe place-  Don't allow them to use the Internet in their bedroom.  Have them use the resource in the room with you.  This allows you to see what they are doing and who may be contacting them.
2.  Set parental controls on search engines-  The Internet is full of information and children can look up a lot of things.  You are not shielding them but trying to keep their innocence a bit longer.  There is a time and a place to teach your children about the ways of the world and how life works, but right now may not be that time.
3. Check their search history- Teens, especially, can be embarrassed to talk to their parents about bullying, sex, or the range of emotions that plague them.  By being apprised of their Internet searches, you can find ways to open communication and discuss these situations.  
4.  Approve their application use- I don't prefer for my son to use Snapchat, because it encourages secrets so he is not allowed to use it.  I didn't shoot down the idea until explaining my point of view and he understands my point of view and won't argue my rule of not using it.
5. Go through their friends lists-  I have to approve anyone that wants to send a friend request.  I believe it is important that I know the types of people he is interacting with.  
6. Report any suspicious content-  If someone is bullying your child or trying to illicit information that should not be common knowledge the person should be reported.  Make sure your child knows what information is OK to share and what is not.
7. Enroll (together) in an Internet Safety class- Kids are susceptible to sharing a lot about themselves with people that they consider friends.  Stranger danger doesn't work so much with teens, because they believe they are not susceptible to the risks.  Schools, libraries, and local community recreational places offer these programs to help in explaining the dangers in ways that teens can understand.
8. Monitor and limit time using the Internet- Technology is an amazing thing and has advanced so much that almost everyone you know wants to be in the know all the time.  Phones, computers, and tablets are on all the time instead of spending quality time with loved ones.  Turn the electronics off.  Spending time talking will allow you to know the person you are raising. 



1 comment

  1. Great suggestions! I am glad my girls are still pretty young and don't use the internet too much.

    ReplyDelete

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