Internet Safety for Children
The Internet is a great place for children to learn and explore. There are a lot of resources to educate children on a variety of topics they might be interested in. The resources are often interactive and capture children’s attention for hours! Despite the awesome resources available on the Internet, there are also many undesirable and dangerous websites children can encounter and internet safety as well. There is a lot of software available for parents to help protect their children from the dangers of the Internet. While the software available is a great resource for parents, there are many other ways in which parents can protect their children from the dangers of the Internet.
Independent Internet Use
UKnowKids.com has a list of ten things you should teach your children regarding the use of the Internet. Since parents cannot be watching over a child’s shoulder every second they are using a computer, children need to be taught Internet safety tips they can utilize themselves. A couple of these tips involve shutting down a computer and telling an adult immediately if something inappropriate is encountered and not clicking on ads and banners on the sides of websites because this might lead to inappropriate sites.
Even the most innocent looking websites can be dangerous for children. According to GCFLearnFree.org, chat rooms, gaming websites, and social media can all pose a risk for children using the Internet. Cyberbullying is popular among these sites and can easily lure children in as targets of the bullying or as they participate in the bullying themselves. These sites can also promote the sharing of too much information such as birth dates and addresses that can lead to dangerous opportunities for others who see that information being shared.
Parental Involvement is Important
No matter the tools used to help track children’s internet usage, parents need to stay engaged with their children. Studies have shown that at least a quarter of children who encounter inappropriate things on the Internet do not tell their parents. Children and parents need to create a bond of trust in which sharing happens regularly. The Internet can be a useful tool to a child’s learning if used appropriately. Internet safety is so important to protecting our children’s innocence.