Did you just purchase a new computer for your child as a gift for the holidays? Are you happy to give them what they wanted, but worried about the problems that come when children and the Internet mix? If so, you are definitely not alone, and your worries do have some merit. Keep reading for some important tips and advice.
Even if your child has had a computer of their own or Internet access for some time, you should still keep tabs on what they are doing. Not only will it protect them in the long run, but it will also give you some well-deserved peace of mind. Here are some tips you can follow to help ensure your child's safety in the online world.
Keep your child's computer out in the open
If your child has a computer tucked away in the privacy of their own room, they could be tempted to do things that they should not be doing. If their computer is stationed in the living room or home office, that lack of privacy will probably keep them from venturing off into online places where they don't belong. Having your child use a computer that is in a social area of your home will also help you interact with them more while they are online.
Solicit the help of parental controls
If you are like most parents, you cannot be at your child's side at all times. This makes monitoring them a tough task. Still, thanks to technology, such a problem is not impossible to overcome, due to parental controls. There is plenty of software on the market that will institute parental controls and blocks on your child's computer. Even better, some Internet service providers offer similar services at no cost. By using parental controls, you will be able to control the sites and content your child views as well as prevent them from revealing personal information.
Make written rules for your child to follow
You may have spoken to your children about their online habits and the dangers that exist on the Internet. Still, if you know how children are, you know that things they are told are usually in one ear and out the other. To make your words stick, you should put them down on paper. Write or type your rules and put your list right next to the computer they use. This can serve as a constant reminder, and it will also help them feel as if they are being monitored when you are not around.
Keep track of your child's online profiles and email
Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are valuable in helping your child interact online with friends. At the same time, they can be breeding grounds for predators and other unsavory characters. For this reason, you should monitor any profiles or email accounts that your children use. Not only should you be aware that they have them, but you should also request passwords to make sure nothing suspicious takes place.
Familiarize yourself with your child's online contacts
Social networks, instant messaging programs, and more offer ways for your child to meet new people. If they meet someone new that they correspond with regularly, have them introduce you to the person online. Not only will the person know that your child is being monitored, but you will also see who your child is communicating with.
These are just some online safety tips to exercise with your child. While there are many more you can practice, beginning with these sets a solid foundation to keep your child protected while surfing the Internet.
For more on this topic, visit http://www.livestrong.com/article/229317-internet-tips-for-parents/
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