It is one thing to set up the right tools that will help protect your kids when they are online; it is quite another thing to teach them how to protect themselves.
As your child gets older you will discover that it gets harder and harder to protect them as they surf the web.
They will learn to surf the web from places other than their home if they start to feel too restricted.
If you seek to shelter them to all dangers that are out there then they will quickly fall susceptible to it.
There are too many ways for a child to be able to access the internet for you to be able to monitor your child’s every internet activity (though their school may monitor it for you – eek!).
Teach Your Kids About Net Safety
You have to teach them to look out for themselves when they get to the age where they might be using the internet alone.
This can happen at school, at home when you are not there, or even on their mobile phone.
If you do not teach them how to protect themselves from online stalkers, then by the time that you decide to do it, it might be too late.
The first thing that you want to teach your child to do when they are on the internet is to show them what sites to stay away from.
Even though your child may not actively seek out a bad site to visit, due to the power of links on the web, they might find themselves on one anyway.
Teach them to quickly leave a site if that happens.
They must be able to trust their gut instincts to know what is right and what is wrong.
If they are on a site that they do not feel good about, then instruct them to leave the site as quickly as possible.
No matter what their friends or the site itself says, they should leave right away.
If your child is old enough that they chat with their friends on the internet then you must be able to instruct them how to do it safely.
They should just chat with their friends and no-one else.
Retain A Certain Level Of Control
You should get a list of their friend’s chat room aliases and make sure that is who they are talking to.
Some instant messengers will allow you to restrict who is able to talk on a chat channel.
Make sure that you set this up for them.
This will allow them to chat without feeling restricted.
The last thing that you want is a stranger being able to chat with them as well.
Let them know that just like in real life, strangers are bad.
It doesn’t matter if it is the internet or not.
And the last thing that you should teach them is that even on their mobile phones, the same rules still apply.
If they want to continue to have online privileges then they must be careful with who they talk to on the phone and using the internet on the phone as well.
They might see the internet on the phone as having different rules than the internet on the computer.
Let them know that it does not.
It is all the same thing. If they want to keep internet access on the phone, then they should not be talking to strangers.
Teaching your kids internet safety should be a huge priority in your household.
If you want your kids to be safe, then they must learn how to navigate the internet on their own.