Just about everyone uses the internet. Children are now being exposed to it at a very young age. When used correctly, the internet is an excellent way for kids to learn and expand their knowledge. Unfortunately, not everything on the internet is good. There are numerous dangers that lurk online, but there are things you can do to protect your child. Here are 4 great tips to help keep your child safe while exploring the internet.
1. Set Parental Controls
Although the digital age is now for kids as well as adults, there are some rules and guidelines that should be set for children. Parental controls should be set for all devices your child uses that connect to the internet. These controls can be used to keep a child from making purchases, changing passwords, and accessing sites that are not age-appropriate. Studies show most children by the age of twelve, have already seen some type of adult content. However, parental controls are an easy to use tool that is effective in preventing this from happening.
2. Get Online Together
Sit with your child and allow them to see how you use the internet. You can explore educational games, reading material, and apps that are fun and engaging for children. Young children will develop beginner computer skills by observing you use your electronic devices.
3. Discuss Cyberbullying
Unfortunately, social media and the internet have opened up a new gateway to bullying. Cyberbullying does not have to take place between people who know one another. People can just watch what someone posts online and send threatening messages. Talk to your children about who they share information with and what they post online. Most importantly, let your child know they can come to you if they become a victim.
4. Raise Awareness on Making Online Friends
Sometimes it’s difficult for children to understand that not everyone is truthful about their identity online. People can be anyone over the internet. Children engaging in forums and chat rooms can easily fall victim to online predators. Online predators take time to groom young children and then set up a meeting in secret. It is best to limit online friendships to school friends.
Remember, as a responsible parent, it is your job to keep your child safe on the internet. With these four tips, that should be a little easier for you. The main takeaway is to make sure you know what your child is doing and where they are going online. Talk to them often and set parental controls. It is up to you to make sure cyber predators and cyberbullies do not hurt your child.