3 Basic Ways To Help Keep Your Child Internet Safe

These days, as a parent, it’s often the case that your children know more about the internet and computers than you do. But it’s still your duty as a parent or guardian to protect their experiences online. While there is legislation in place that requires children to get a parents permission before giving out sensitive information like address and phone number, among other things. But that doesn’t always happen – so just as with pretty much everything else with your child – it doesn’t hurt to be proactive.

What follows is some basic advice for making sure that the internet experience of your younger child is safe and secure (and they don’t inadvertently end up charging your credit cards a ton of money).

Become Computer Literate Yourself

It is still your job as a parent to make sure that your child’s experience online is safe and secure – but how can you do that if your kid needs to show you how to change the internet settings on your computer? If you aren’t too tech-savvy, enroll in a class at the local community college or high school. You’re going to want to make sure you are able to know how to:

  • Set up a separate “profile” on your computer for each child, with only you as an administrator
  • Manage and block websites that your child has access to

While younger children generally will not try and find ways around your internet restrictions, as children get older, they might attempt to get beyond your restrictions if they find them unfair – for example, if you don’t allow them to set up any social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, myspace, etc) or use chatrooms. So be prepared to enforce and defend your decisions – which is where our second piece of advice comes in handy.

Educate Your Children About The Dangers

The internet is not a safe place – not intrinsically. Sensitive data is not always secure and once something is posted on the internet it’s always going to be there – even if the profile or image is deleted.

Some basic ground rules and dangers to warn your children about might include:

  • Never complete an online profile – don’t give out address, phone number, photos or even their real name.
  • Warn children of people who contact them and and interested in meeting face-to-face.
  • Make sure they know they can (and should) talk to you if anything happens on the internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Get Involved

You’re going to want to get involved with your child’s internet experience to make sure that things are safe. Especially with younger children, there are definitely things that may seem innocent to them that may not actually be. Some guidelines for getting involved in your child’s internet experience include:

  • Keeping the computer in a common area.
  • Share an email account with your child – or make sure that you have the password to their email account to monitor for unsolicited emails.
  • Bookmark your child’s favorite sites for easy access.
  • Monitor credit cards and phone bills for unfamiliar charges.
  • Disable “cookies” so that a child can’t inadvertently process a credit card charge because all the necessary data is already stored.

These are some of the most basic things you could (and should) be doing to keep your child and your child’s identity safe on the internet – this is the “don’t take candy from strangers” lesson for the digital era, and you want your children to understand it without having to learn it the hard way.

Alison Waters is a freelance writer who works with a company that offers IT project management and hardware support – so that if you’re a small business owner and your kid inadvertently pulls all the plugs, they could still recover your data. She hopes that no child is the target of an internet predator.

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Why You Shouldn’t Friend Your Teen on Facebook

Civil Records

If you have a teenager, you’re probably well-versed in how important the Internet is to the social life of a high schooler. Most teenagers have Facebook accounts and spend many hours per week on the computer. It’s a trend that isn’t going away. You might even have a Facebook page of your own. But does that mean you have to be “friends” with your teenager? Some parents very closely monitor the computer usage of their teenagers and others don’t bother. Where do you fall on the spectrum? A teenager’s Facebook page is a very personal place, and if you’re friends with them, you’ll have access to it. As a parent, you may think it’s a good idea. It’s not. Some things should remain sacred, and your child’s Facebook page is one of them. Under no circumstances should you friend your teenager on Facebook. If you do, you’ll probably end up regretting it very quickly. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t go there.

Do You Really Want to Know What They’re Doing?

Teenagers use Facebook to post and comment on all types of teenage things. They’ll post pictures of the weekend parties, talk about relationships, say things they think are “cool,” and much more. Do you really want to be able to see all that? Being able to view your teen’s Facebook page may grant you too high a level of access into their personal life. Many things may not warrant parental intervention, but seeing them may make you uncomfortable.

Do You Really Want to Know What Their Friends are Doing?

Teens use Facebook to communicate with each other all the time. Not only will you have unnecessary access to the comments of your own teenager, you’ll also be viewing the wall posts, status comments and photos of their friends, too. If you’re not ready to see your teenager’s closest buddies in a new light, you shouldn’t be friends with your teen on Facebook.

You’ll Make Them Censor Themselves

If you’re friends with your teen on Facebook, you better believe they’ll censor their page for you. They’ll think twice about everything they post. They’ll first evaluate if it’s something they’re okay with you seeing or not. While it’s a good thing for them to be discerning with what they post, you don’t want to be the sole reason they have to censor themselves. Let your teen be a teen. They’ll be able to enjoy their social networking experience more if you’re not watching so closely.

You’ll Have to Censor Yourself

You’ll also have to make sure your page is appropriate for your teen to see, too. You won’t be able to post anything you don’t want them to see, like things they could make fun of or be upset by. But you have a personal life, too, and you don’t want to censor yourself, either. If you don’t friend your teen, you won’t have to worry about it. You can be yourself and enjoy Facebook without worrying about constantly playing the part of parent and role model.

Terry Ford wants to remind you that Facebook can be fun if you play carefully and always use a Grammar Checker.

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Cautious Kids

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Some of the most important lessons we can teach our young ones are safety guidelines and how to approach dangerous situations when unattended. When children approach the age of 3 years they become very impressionable and are suitable for learning some important life lessons. This is the idea time to start teaching them some basic safety rules.

Hazards at Home

Hazards involving intense heat can cause many injuries to children every year, this is often because they are unaware of all potential dangers in their own home. Hazards such as a boiling kettle, hot radiators, lit ovens and fireplaces can all cause injuries to unsuspecting children. Little ones are particularly explorative when unsupervised to be sure they have a safe area to play in when they are left with time to themselves. Putting safety measures in place around your home is a good way of reducing the risk of children getting injured, but teaching them to be cautious themselves is an invaluable lesson that could make a large difference when they stumble across a shiny hazard without parental supervision.

Travelling Alone and Dealing With Strangers

As children reach the age in which they go to play with friends and make short journeys to and from nearby houses and shops, it’s vital that they know the importance of travelling safely and not to engage in conversation with any unfamiliar faces. Ensure they have a safe route to all destinations and remain in public view the entire time. If possible they should travel with groups of their friends to ensure they are not alone while travelling home.

The potential danger involved with a child engaging strangers is something no parent wants to think about, but ensuring your child knows when someone is clearly bad news can make a huge difference in the way they approach strangers.

Environmental Hazards

As children grown older and are approaching high school, they are always more likely to travel further out to play with friends, ride bikes and play sports, but there are important lessons they must learn about environmental hazards. An unsupervised reservoir may seem like an idea place to play and swim to a group of children, if they are uneducated on this topic they may be unaware of generally how difficult it becomes to clamber back out again once wet.

Pylons may appear to be giant climbing frames with which to play and show off to friends, but children may not know about the tens of thousands of volts flowing through the pylons electrical system. It is vital that children learn lessons such as these at a young age; a sensible child is much more likely to stay safe when left alone and can have a positive impact on their more troublesome friends.

Written by Daniel Travis – Brown on behalf of Gray & Co Criminal Defence Solicitors , follow him on Twitter @DanTravisBrown

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Who is Sending Emails to Your Youngster?

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Who is Sending Emails to Your Youngster?

The World Wide Web is truly fascinating nowadays. Using the internet your youngster can look for information for any school project, homework or research paper. It’s a new world of knowledge opened up for the children, something which has no parallel. Certainly this is also a preferred manner for your youngster to remain in contact with his pals and find new friendship. With communal networking websites such as Zubby, MySpace and Friendster, your youngster can remain in contact with all his pals and enjoy doing so.

Friendster
Friendster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In effect, social networking websites are extremely fashionable with children. Emailing is yet another manner of remaining in contact with pals and relatives who live away. Nonetheless the varied advantages of the World Wide Web also come with a large number of hazards. Kids communicate with unknown persons. There are sometimes killers who are online and are on the look-out for kids to talk to. So even though your youngster may be under the impression that he/she is conversing with another boy like him from a different state, he may in fact be chatting with an elderly person living right near you home.

Thinking about these circumstances and ideas is very frightening, but this happens often. The more information you have, the easier it is to prioritize the well-being of your kid. In case your kid is receiving weird emails or is chatting online with a person whom you are not familiar with, it would be worthwhile to find out. You can speak to your kid and get details about when and how they started chatting. Killers very often are on the look-out for children with low self-confident and self-worth. This is one of the manners using which they ensnare the child; they try to win the child’s trust and then abuse that confidence.

Fortunately there are many recent sites, from where you can determine the person sending emails to your kid. All you need to do is input the email of the concerned person. You do not require their name, Social Security number or contact details. By entering their email you can get their name, address, telephone number and other records pertaining to the person’s background/character. These records are very useful since they have information about the arrest warrants at state and federal levels. They also have information about any misbehavior or charges that the concerned person may have been convicted for and if there are any sexual offences.

Being a parent is the toughest of all jobs, although the most excellent and gratifying one. Be active in the child’s life, especially with what he does on the internet and find out doubtful persons as soon as you can to avoid getting your child trapped with a really harmful person.

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