Protect Your Children Online
With internet security at the forefront of many parents’ minds, it is important to get clued up on computers and be pro-active in protecting your children online. A fundamental mistake is to let your child have a computer in his/her room. Parents have a right to insist that the computer their child uses is in a public place in the home, where it can be seen and shared by the whole family. While this isn’t a perfect solution, it does reduce the chance that your child will be tempted to browse for something unsuitable, knowing that you might walk past at any minute.
One good way to get children on board is to involve them in your surfing, when appropriate, for example if you are looking for recipes for quick meals. Younger children are likely to be happy to have a parent surfing along with them to start with. A good first step is to help them find a selection of sites they like and create a favourites list. As most under-tens are usually happy to stick with what they know, ask them to just access sites in that favourites list when they use the computer on their own.
Search engines are incredible resources, but the access they give to children is just too much. Bear in mind too that even more family-oriented websites such as Super savvy me may contain links which would be fine for adults to follow but are perhaps not suitable for children. Check out sites which are more appropriate search engines for youngsters and make sure they are written in simple language and are easy to negotiate. Furthermore, if children try the modern-day equivalent of looking up rude words in the dictionary, no sexual or pornographic content will come up, even if they try searching for it. Finally, don’t forget to use the parental control settings on your PC to good effect!
The most important thing is to keep communication channels open and to discuss the positive and negative aspects of new technology; the worst thing parents can do is to bury their heads in the sand and hope the internet will go away.