How To Teach Your Child About Stalking Dangers Online

by Barbara J. Feldman on October 27, 2007

When it comes to children and the Internet many of them don’t realize how dangerous the Internet can be. Children, no matter what age they are, as well as adults, tend to think that nothing bad can happen to them. Things like online stalking and harassment happen to other people. This is a common viewpoint but the first step to teaching your children about the dangers of online stalking and harassment is to accept the fact that it can happen to you or somebody you know.

Children in general tend to be more open and honest online then adults because they have yet to grow up and realize certain life lessons. With the number of children using social networking sites and chat room use increasing, the instances of online stalking and harassment among children has increased. And children make some of the best targets for abusers because of how naïve they can be.

Difficulty rating: Easy

Step one:

The most important thing that you can do is to talk to your teenagers about online dangers. Make sure that they understand why you don’t give out personal information and why you should never meet somebody in real life that they have met online without parents being present. You should also talk to your children about what stalkers or abusers look for and make sure that they understand that just because they are honest doesn’t mean everybody else online will be honest online.

Step two:

The next thing that you are going to need to do is to get to know the people your child is talking to online. The reason for this is that as a parent you most likely know all of your children’s friends in the physical world; the cyber world shouldn’t be any different. Most parents want to get to know the people that their children are involved with before they allow their children to play or hang out with them for an extended amount of time. Your children’s online friends shouldn’t get any different type of treatment; although it may be harder to get to know their online friends, you still have to make it a priority. You can start by talking to your teenager about the people they are communicating with, ask questions about where they live, how old they are, what school they go to, etc.

Step three:

The third thing that you can do is to take the time to explain to your children about parental controls and why you feel they are important to use and what purpose they actually serve in helping to protect your children from online stalking and harassment. When it comes to parental controls you can use the parental control features that come with your computer or purchase software that adds parental controls to your computer. Using the parental controls will allow your teenagers the freedom of using the Internet and receiving email, but only you as a parent can deem who they can accept email from.

Step four:

Another thing that you should do as a parent is to make sure that your computer is in a central location, basically where the entire family can have access to it. No matter how tempting it might be, do not give your child a computer in their room. By having the computer in their room kids might turn to it as some type of escape. The computer should not be an escape from the family; it should be a family activity. By having the computer in a central location, you minimize the chance of your child using it as an escape which will help to protect them from online stalking and harassment because you are able to monitor what it is they are doing at all times.

Basically the best way to teach your child about the dangers of online stalking and harassment is to sit down and talk with them about the dangers. When talking to them you are going to want to explain the dangers in an age appropriate way so that they actually grasp how dangerous this can be. But there are also some things that you are going to want to do to help protect them from online stalking and harassment, in addition to teaching them about the dangers of it. Use your own best sense and judgment for this.

More tips like this one in Kids,Parents,Privacy,Safety and Parental Control,Security,Teens



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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How To Teach Your Child About Stalking Dangers Online." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 27 Oct. 2007. Web. 28 Aug. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1217/how-to-teach-your-child-about-stalking-dangers-online/ >.