How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

by Barbara J. Feldman on July 16, 2009

If your kids are like most kids, they’re probably pretty savvy when it comes to computers and Internet usage. Classrooms today utilize computers as teaching tools, and oftentimes, kids seem to know more about computers and the Internet than their parents do!

The Internet is a great tool for kids of all ages. It is educational and oftentimes indispensable when it comes to doing school projects. It also provides a way for kids to chat with friends online.

However, the Internet can also be a playground for predators who enjoy the anonymity that the Internet provides them. Newspapers are filled with articles about predators who met their victims online.

As a parent, it’s important to be informed about cyber safety so you can keep your kids safe online. The following are a few tips:

Educate yourself about the Internet.

If your job doesn’t require you to be online much, or if you rarely venture on the Internet for more than checking emails occasionally, there’s a lot to learn. Educate yourself about the Internet, including navigating through it, checking history, and installing parental controls, through books and introductory classes at the local library. It is also important to know of places Internet predators

Keep communication open.

Work to have an atmosphere of open communication in your home, so your kids can feel comfortable coming to you if they were approached by someone online in a chat room or through email.

You should also sit down and talk with your kids about online safety. This includes never telling anyone personal information such as their name, address, phone number, school, or email address. They should also avoid chat rooms and other places that aren’t always safe for kids, and tell them to come to you immediately if they receive any suggestive messages online, or if someone asks them for any personal information.

Visit iSAFE.org

iSAFe is a non-profit organization that provides education about online safety to parents, students, teachers, law enforcement officials, and others via online classes and community outreach programs. It has a wealth of tools and information for parents regarding online safety and is well worth a visit. Information is easily obtained through things like online modules that will allow you to learn at your convenience from your own home or personal computer.

Monitor your child’s Internet usage.

You should never feel guilty about keeping tabs on your child’s Internet usage. This includes checking the history of sites visited to make sure they are not going anywhere they shouldn’t. Block sites on your computer that you don’t want your child to go to. In addition, it’s a good idea to have your computer in a room in a public area of the house with a lot of traffic, so you can easily monitor sites visited or any pictures or information your child may be sending.

Set rules.

Set some rules monitoring internet usage, including amount of time spent, sites that are and aren’t allowed in the home, and make sure your child knows never to arrange meetings with someone they met online. Once you have set these rules and made your child aware of them, make sure you enforce them.

The Internet is a useful way for kids to keep in touch with friends and teachers, do research for school, and entertain themselves through games and other activities. It can also be dangerous. The above tips are some ways you can keep your kids safe online.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 16 Jul. 2009. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/588/how-to-keep-your-kids-safe-online/ >.