The internet can be both a blessing and a curse as it can be a great resource for kids at school when doing homework or assignments however it also exposes children and especially teenagers to many dangerous situations. Apart from supervising a child while they are online and educating children about how to stay safe while online there are a few things that can be done to help protect children while they are online.
Using an ISP filter or a filter from a third party is a good way to prevent children from accessing sites and material that is offensive. There are many providers that offer filters which can be installed to protect children when online, many of these are available for free.
Monitoring a child’s use of social networking is also important as these websites such as Facebook contain information that may attract online predators. While a child is logged on to a social networking site it is important to supervise the child and ensure that private details such as addresses and phone numbers are not given out to anyone you don’t know.
Another way to protect children from offensive content is to install a child friendly search engine. As parents it is important to keep children safe when online and there are quite a few child friendly search engines to choose from such as Quintura which only gives G rated material on the results page. Parenting your children will be a lot easier if you avoid exposing them to material that may frighten them or lead to a barrage of questions in which the child is too young to understand.
One of the best ways to keep children safe while online is to educate them about the internet and the potential dangers that are online. Children are very quick learners so education is a great tool for avoiding problems while online. There are also a few resources that can be accessed online which can help parents and children with this education process.
Even if you implement some of these suggestions in your home it is important to remember that there is no substitution for parental supervision. While children are online the computer that they are using should be in a public place in the house such as the kitchen so either parent can monitor the websites they visit. It is important not to leave a child alone with the computer as it is essential that they are supervised to avoid viewing inappropriate material.