How to Protect My Child from the Internet
The Internet is a wonderful source of information and activities to help entertain and educate our children. At the same time, it can also be a scary place with many dangers lurking when we are not watching. With so many devices readily connected to the web, and with kids being so adept at operating these devices from a very young age, it is vital to help them understand and recognise the potential dangers out there, much like teaching them about crossing the road safely. As a parent, it is also important to take a few precautionary steps to help protect your children.
Here are some precautions you can take to protect your child from the potential dangers on the Internet:
- Limit Internet Browsing to a Specific Place in The House
Make sure computers, laptops, tablets, and so forth are used in a dedicated area in the house where you can easily keep an eye on your child while they are on the Internet.
- Set Limits for Both Time and Usage of The Internet
Limit the time when they are allowed to use the Internet to when you are around to keep an eye on their Internet usage. Also define usage limits — is it for homework or fun? Homework time does not necessarily have to be limited, but then make sure it is being used for actual homework.
- Make Use of Parental Controls
Many browsers and other apps offer free parental control to limit what your children can actually access on your devices. Research what is available to you and meets your needs, and make use of these. You cannot keep an eye on their browsing every second they are online, so these functions will help control what your children are exposed to.
- Talk to Them About the Potential Dangers
If you simply tell your child they are not allowed to do something, they might see this as a challenge or think you simply want to control what they do. So, be frank with them and discuss the dangers of the Internet and why you are setting the boundaries the way you are. When they understand the dangers and the reasons for your actions, they are more likely to be vigilant and respectful to your rules.
- Teach Them Not to Give Out Personal Information
The dangers of the Internet are not only related to the content children can access, but also the content they share. Explain to them that they are never to give out phone numbers or addresses, and to never agree to meet someone in person.