In today’s world, kids are exposed to the internet and influenced by media at a really early age. By the time they are 8 years old, most kids are quite comfortable with using the internet. But, as parents, how do we keep track of what our kids are doing online? How do we ensure that they experience a safe online environment?
Well, the first thing to do is introduce the internet to them yourself and spend some time using the it together. This ensures that the child relies on you (and not on friends or others) for help.
6 tips for using the internet safely:
- Explain what your kid can and cannot do online. Like:
-Not sharing personal information (address, phone number, school name or location)
– Not sharing passwords (only with parents)
– Not responding to threats
– Not agreeing to meet an online friend in-person
- Communicate with your kid about online issues and procedures regularly. He shouldn’t feel uncomfortable about discussing the online part of his lives with you. Discuss what he does online with an open mind.
- Keep an eye out for cyberbullying. Ensure that you save the email/contact of the person who was bullying your child. Keep copies of the messages as proof of evidence in case the situation escalates, and you will need to enforce the law. Cyberbullying should always be taken seriously. Explain to your child that it is not their fault they are being bullied.
- Use an internet filter. It helps you filter the websites by their content. This allows you to ban certain websites with certain subjects. There are a number of programs you can choose from for this feature.
- Although difficult, it’s easy if the computer is placed in an open space at home, rather than in the kid’s room. Because this allows you to keep an eye on what he is looking up online.