7 Internet Safety Tips For Parents To Help Keep Children Safe From Online Dangers
By Mike Boyd
For parents, keeping their children safe online is an ongoing learning experience in how children communicate on the Internet. With Internet technology becoming easily accessible, email, chat rooms, instant messaging and social networks are a magnet for predators who can fool your children into providing information about themselves.
The best defense for parents is to learn how kids should maintain privacy when they are online. Being safe online is no different than how we teach them never to talk to and provide information to strangers when they answer the phone or are approached by someone they are not familiar with.
Keeping your children safe while online can be accomplished by following these seven tips:
1 - Learn about Internet Technology - The more you can learn about Internet Technology, the more informed you will be about how online predators work. By learning how people interact when using the latest technology, will help you stop someone from contacting your child. Visit and browse sites like MySpace, YouTube and other social networking Sites and become familiar with the lingo being used. More than likely, you may have email accounts with Google, Yahoo or Microsoft, if you do, check out their Instant Messenger (IM) services. Learn how it works and how you can add and block other users from contacting your account.
2 - Become Involved With Your Child's Internet Experience - Keeping tabs on your children Internet activity can be easier than you think. Make it a fun experience and help them explore the Internet as a family. If you feel learning about all the latest and greatest technology is overwhelming for you, being involved with your children will end up as an learning experience your kids can teach you. Kids pick up using the Internet very quickly, so don't be afraid to ask them questions.
3 - Locate The Family Computer In An Open Area - Never put the Computer in your child's room. Keeping the Computer in an area that can be easily monitored, will allow you children to be more comfortable, without them feeling they are being supervised. Your mind will be more at ease knowing you can check up on them with making your presence known.
4 - Communicate - Communicate regularly with your child about what they do and who they talk to online. Make sure the people they communicate with are their friends and you know who they are. Talk to them about the dangers of giving out personal information about themselves and let them know they should never be afraid to tell you if someone is asking inappropriate questions.
5 - Know How To Monitor Your Computer Internet Files - Many browsers retain information of sites that were visited during a session. Among the information that can be found is history information for each site visited, by day or week. Cookies are files that keep certain information about sites visited. Look for the cache and temporary files. These files can be used to view actual pages of web sites, and if anything has been downloaded to your Computer. Look for anything questionable and check it out.
6 - Talk To Other Parents - Stay in touch with parents and talk to them about sites you want to verify are safe and if their children visit them. While the Internet is far reaching, keeping up on the technology and many Web Sites that are in existence can be difficult to monitor. Keeping in touch with other parents can help cast a wider net and help protect you child.
7 - Maintain Your Children Privacy - When possible, choose your child's account name, email address or instant message name wisely. Never reveal their ages, sex, hobbies or any information that could reveal their identity. Always make sure proper supervision is maintained for sites that require creating account names and passwords. Do not use the same account name across multiple websites.
As a parent, the Internet does not need to be the stranger stalking kids. Being informed and attending Internet safety seminars can help educate and teach you how to spot trends and signs for online safety and dangers, while being well informed. The Internet has now become a fabric of our lives that can fun and useful for all ages.
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