Nowadays, everything and everyone is online. People live in a world of full of technology and itâ€™s not going away anytime soon. Adults know how dangerous the internet can be, but what about safeguarding your computer for your kids?
How do parents go about protecting them and safeguarding their computers?
Tips to keeping kids safe on the computer
Kids are starting to use the computer at a younger age than before.
There are programs designed specifically for toddlers where they can touch the screen and see something happen, there are educational programs for children learning to read and tutoring programs for children who have started school. Preschool and kindergarteners use computers in school, too.
Thereâ€™s no denying that kids are going to be using the computer, and itâ€™s the job of parents to keep them safe.
Tips for keeping them safe include:
* Keep the computer in a family room – By keeping the computer in a family room instead of a den or office, you can keep better tabs on what your kids are up to online;
* Set up parental controls – Parental controls allow you to limit what websites your child is able to visit. You can decide what types of sites you want â€˜blockedâ€™ from your child. If you yourself need access to one of the blocked sites, you simply enter in your password to view the site;
* Limit your childâ€™s time on the computer – Itâ€™s always good to have rules in place when it comes to the computer. Consider only allowing your child to use the computer for one hour each day; or make a rule where computers are not allowed after 7 p.m.;
* Discuss internet dangers with your child – If you simply just block every chat room or website without explaining the reasons to your child, they may be more likely to rebel and find a way around your rules. Instead, talk with them about why the internet and chat rooms can be dangerous;
* Let older children know that you can check everything theyâ€™re doing online – Kids are less likely to bend the rules if they know thereâ€™s a chance theyâ€™ll get caught. Let them know that you will check periodically what theyâ€™re up to onlineâ€”especially if you suspect a problem;
* Never allow your child to give out personal information – This includes their full name, address, school, teacherâ€™s name, grade level, parentsâ€™ names or any other information that could be used by a predator;
* Set a rule that your child must ask permission before going on the computer – Whether they need to do a homework assignment, want to instant message a friend or simply want to play a game of solitaire, make sure they ask for your permission first. If you catch them on the computer without having asked, follow through in whatever punishment previously agreed upon.
Keeping your kids safe from the dangers of the internet is a must for any parent.
The Bureau of Crime Prevention and Youth Services states that 45 million children between the ages of 10 and 17 use the internet. More than half of these kids have received an email or instant message from a stranger, and half have responded to that message.
As a parent, itâ€™s vital to do everything you can to keep your children safe.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She covers topics on Walmart, personal finance and travel.