The Internet is an all-knowing tool. It can help you answer any question and provides a plethora of information. Unfortunately, there are many dangerous things lurking online that your children may stumble upon without realizing it. August 1 is World Wide Web Day. This day is the perfect time to set some barriers and protect your children from online predators.
Here are four ways you can keep your children safe while enjoying the benefits of the Internet.
1. Set limitations and filters
One of the best things you can do for your children who browse the Internet is set limitations. Place time restrictions on Internet use and make sure they use the computer in a high trafficked area. With the use of smartphones, tablets and other portable electronics, it is easy for your children to browse the Internet without your knowledge. To prevent them from viewing or accessing inappropriate material, install computer monitoring or phone monitoring software on the device. Many of the best products allow you to block certain websites and create a list of terms that your child cannot search. As a parent, you can set the level of security you want for the device.
As parents we want to give our children their privacy, but we also need to keep them safe. Monitor their Internet use both on the computer and on smartphones. Monitor their social network profiles, their recent search history and the amount of time they spend online. However, don’t become an obsessive parent and monitor every little thing they do.
Also, let your children know you will be monitoring them. Don’t be sneaky and do it behind their back. If they know that parental monitoring will occur if they use a computing device, it will not become an epic battle later down the road.
3. Be cautious of what you post
Cybercriminals and other online predators can gather much information just from a status update or a photo posted online. They can learn about your family, when you are or are not home, areas of your home, important upcoming events and much more. They can even gather GPS information from a single photo. Social networks are fun and wonderful ways to stay in touch with others, just make sure your children also understand their dangers.
4. Require permission to download or install applications
A good rule for Internet use in any home is to receive permission from a parent before downloading or installing any type of application from the Internet. Many downloads include viruses, malware, spiders, Trojans and more that can damage your computer and even steal your personal information. If any application looks questionable, avoid it. Don’t download it or install it onto your device. You may be installing more onto your computer than you may realize.
The Internet is a wonderful tool with many benefits. However, it can also be a dangerous place and without taking a few precautions, you and your children may find yourself with more than you bargained for.
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