There is a huge wealth of information that can be accessed via the World Wide Web. Inarguably, it is the quickest, easiest source of information the world has ever known, and growing every second of every day. The problem is, with so much information at our fingertips, the possibility of accessing something that we don’t want in our home is also a very real possibility. Whether it’s materials that aren’t kid friendly, or malicious intruders using bandwidth to enter our domiciles, it can be a scary place for young users. However, parents need not fear, in this post, we will discuss several ways you can keep your kids safe while accessing this amazing resource.
Discuss online use early.
One suggestion that senior security researcher David Emm provides is, talk to them early about online safety. Children who understand that just like life outside of the Internet; there are safe, and unsafe things. Teaching children early to identify what some of the precarious behaviors are will help teach them the discipline needed to navigate the Internet safely.
Keep the computer where you can monitor activity.
Many experts agree that keeping the family computer in a prominent place, such as the family room will help you monitor what type of content or activity your children are accessing. This also provides an opportunity to have an open dialogue with your children. Should they come across anything that confuses or upsets them, you can discuss it with your child.
Locating the computer where everyone can interact with it also helps to encourage family activity with the Internet, allowing for better understanding and communication about online activities. You may even find things that you and the children enjoy doing together.
Restrict what content can be accessed through the use of filters.
Many browsers come equipped with filters that can be set to block out undesirable content. Internet Explorer for example as a filter that can be accessed via the tools menu that can be set to block out a host of seedy content. Mozilla has similar filter that can be set as well.
Not only do most browsers come with built in features, there is also after market software that can be purchased that can give parents even more administrative control over what can be accessed on the computer. Many of these programs are free to download can provide more protection than the included filters offer.
Finally, find what your comfort levels are as the parent. Many parents find that setting time limits as to how long children can be online helps them feel better about their children’s online experience. Also, regulate what information they can give out. Talking with your children about giving out private information, such as names, address etc. can help keep them safe from predators and scammers.
Ultimately, the best line of defense for your children is you. Diligence is a must when it comes to keeping kids safe on line. When guides are set and precautions are carefully followed, you will find that your on line experience with your children can be safe, fun and rewarding.