With the digital age well and truly upon us, the amount of young children using mobile and internet technology is going up while it seems the age groups are getting smaller. As each day passes, internet security threats are becoming a bigger concern for people from all walks of life, including parents who are concerned for their children’s welfare. When used appropriately, the internet can be a wonderful tool for both communication and education, particularly for children. But if you’re concerned about keeping your child safe, here are a few tips you can use to look after their security.
Immerse yourself in your child’s world
One of the best ways of keeping your child safe is to make sure you know exactly what sites they’re surfing – while some years ago, chat rooms would be the preserve of many teenage internet users, today, it’s far more likely to be social media. So for example, if your child has a Twitter account, consider getting one for yourself – you can still keep an eye on them from a distance without infringing on their privacy.
Install parental controls
Both your internet service provider and your browser, as well as most anti-virus software, will have some sort of parental control to ensure children do not stumble across inappropriate material. Think about all the sites you use, including those which require you to input payment details – the last thing you want is your child accidentally making purchases on your credit card. Many sites which involve payment, like Jackpot City, have their own in-built parental controls, so make sure you employ these too.
Instill the notion of privacy
While it’s important to hold onto your personal credit card details, you must also teach your son or daughter the importance of retaining private information. Encourage them not to share payment details, their name, phone number, email, home or school address, password of photograph without your permission. Ensure they do not open emails from unknown senders, and teach them not to respond to hurtful messages, or invitations to meet in real life.
Implement house rules
If you’re truly concerned about your child’s security or indeed how much time they are spending surfing the web, consider implementing a few house rules regarding internet use. Set time limits and give them a set of instructions on which websites are approved. If you want to make it set in stone, you can even find a ‘kid’s contract’ online at Safekids, which you should print off and keep next to the computer.
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