If you read yesterday’s guide – 7 easy tips for securing your wireless home network – then you should, hopefully, now have a secure home network.
That, however, is only one of many precautions you need to take if you want to ensure that using the internet is both a safe and pleasant experience.
In this post I am looking at ways that parents can keep an eye on their kids when they are on the internet in order to ensure that they are safe.
Unfortunately, in this era, there are a lot of dangers.
That not only means scammers, but also identity theft, online predators and other dangers too.
Children’s natural curiosity is great, and should be encouraged, but it can also lead them into situations that are best avoided.
Get Involved With Your Children’s Online Activities
If you want to know what your kids are doing on their computers, both online and offline, then there really is no substitute for personal involvement with them.
Not only that, but sitting with your child and engaging in activities together is great fun and can be quite educational too.
Not only could you play games together but you could also conduct joint research into homework topics or plan activities together.
Not only would this allow you to see what your child is doing online but it would also teach them that a computer is for more than just playing games.
Ensure That Your Computer Is Somewhere Visible
I know from my own personal experience that allowing children to have computers in their bedrooms leads to their surfing habits becoming a private affair.
Instead, have them somewhere more visible where you can keep half an eye on them at least.
If you see them on an inappropriate site or somewhere you have expressly told them not to go then you will have the opportunity to step in and stop them.
Not only that but you can then educate them as to why you don’t wish them to view that site or a certain type of material.
If you retain that level of control then your kids will likely respect your decisions and not try to access such information again in the future.
Make Rules And Stick To Them
I believe it is a good idea to set boundaries with your kids before letting them use the internet.
Letting them know in advance what types of sites they can and cannot visit, including the reasons why, is a good means of protecting your children.
Another thing I found with my own children is that it is also wise to set time limits on their computer and internet usage.
My kids play certain online games and really do become immersed in them to such a degree that I firmly believe they could play them all day long if given the opportunity.
By setting time limits I have cut back on the time they play games for as they realise they have to fit their other activities into a limited time period too.
Once you have made the rules be sure to stick to them.
The internet can be an amazing place of fun and learning but it can also be addictive.
Ensure that your children remember that there is more to life than just computers.
Communication is essential if you wish to keep your children protected whilst they are on the internet.
Don’t be afraid to tell them about the dangers of online predators and some of the methods they use to try to befriend kids as this may just prompt your child to think twice when engaging with other anonymous people online.
If you talk to your children regularly about their internet activities then they will almost certainly open up and be quite forward about what they are doing and which sites they are visiting.
Finally, let your kids know that they can come to you at any time if they ever feel frightened or intimidated by anything they come across on the internet or through email.