The entire planet and its inhabitants are becoming increasingly wired (online that is). We all want to stay connected for purposes ranging from socialization, to dating, to researching, to banking, to shopping and much more. And of course, children and young adults also relish the thought of dedicating as much time as they can to online ventures. But with all the viral videos of bullying, and all the sexual predators, and all the scam artists, and all the hackers, and all the adult entertainment options – well, you see, it’s a bit difficult to trust that our children are safe when online.
So what do we do? How do we keep our children safe when they are online?
Most of our “children” are quite a bit more experienced at operating electronic devices than their parents (us!). They are probably already privy to the information coming up in this article – and they are just hoping that you are not! Let’s see what we can do to keep our young ones free from the corruption that could befall them when perusing the Internet:
Set Rules to Keep Your Kids Safe Online
Just like cars, electronic devices are not something that parents are required to provide for their children, nowhere is it written that each child above the age of 6 must possess an i-Pad or a smart phone, or even a old-school cell phone for that matter. Those things are luxuries that children should value – and therefore can be controlled with (to a small degree anyway). So, the first thing to remember, in order to keep your children safe online, is to set some rules that dictate what they are permitted to use their gadgets for – and what they are not allowed to use them for. If they are disobedient, take the gadgets away for a few weeks and make them respect your rules.
Use Adult Filters, Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware Technologies
Every electronic device comes with programs intact to help you protect your children while they’re online. You can set your filters to not allow surfing to all sites of certain ratings. You can also enter specific URLs that are to be blocked. Set your kids up with individual profiles that they have to sign into to access the Internet. Never make them privy to your credit card information. You are the device administrator and you can set your own passwords. Take those steps and use the technologies that are already in place to protect younger surfers. And by the way, never think that your “perfect” child would not do a little spying on you to see those passwords…
Educate Your Children To Keep Them Safe Online
Let your kids know why you are being tough about protecting them online. Let them know that there really are bad people out there, targeting children and adults alike. Make sure they understand that you are not keeping them from growing, learning and experiencing. Let them know that you have standards that they will be expected to observe consistently, because you love them and will know when the time has come that they no longer need your assistance now and then.
Keeping our kids safe when they are online is our responsibility. And it’s really not difficult to do – if we take just a small amount of time to set up protective technologies, and then give a little education.