While the internet has been one of the greatest inventions to date, it is also not free of many downsides. From cyberbullying, child predators and identity thieves, there is much to be wary of when going online. Parents, especially, need to take extra measures to see to it that their children do not get victimized on the internet. While no system is 100% full proof, there are still a number of things that we can all do to try and give our kids the protection that they need. Below are a few tips that may come in handy, just in case you need to tighten up the internet security in your own home.
- Take the time to check and see what your kids are looking at on the internet- There are actually many ways to do this without being seemingly obvious. A great idea is to place the computer in a common area in the home. That way, it is easy for adults to pass by the common area and take a quick look at the screen. Another way is to ask your children a few questions while they’re on the net. Make it seem like you are actually interested in what they are looking at, and not just spying.
- Always remind your kids never to give out their personal information online- When we were younger, the rules were always to never talk to strangers. Set the same rule with your kids, but make it applicable on the internet. Remind them again and again, no matter who asks them, to never reveal their full and complete names, the names of their parents, addresses, where they go to school and where they like to hang out. While these may seem like common information, it can be very alarming what a child predator can do with this data, especially after he pieces it all together.
- Activate and install parental controls- a number of internet browsers now come with parental control options where parents can set up particular filters on nudity, sex, foul language, and other things that they do not want their children to see. Do not take these settings for granted and do remember to use them toy uor full advantage.
- Go one step further and invest in software that filters mature content- Even if parents say they are too busy to monitor everything that goes on in their child’s computer, that doesn’t mean they cannot employ some sort of technology to keep watch over their kids. Software such as net nanny are great to filter out content that may be inappropriate for children to see and have access to.
- Lastly, never let your kids handle your credit card for online shopping transactions- Kids absorb information so quickly that they can easily memorize your credit card details. If they must purchase something online, make sure you, the parent, pays for it. Also, don’t punch in your credit card numbers while they are watching. Distract them and make the payment, so they cannot remember those numbers for future use.