There is so much that can be dangerous for children and teens on the Internet. That is why it is important to educate them about what is ok and not ok to do on the Internet.
The dangers out there are often masked with lies that obscure our children’s views. Therefore in order to protect our children, it is important to set rules and guidelines in addition to setting up safety measures.
These five tips will help you to help your child to recognize danger on the Internet.
Start by making sure that your child or teen knows what they are allowed to post on the Internet. Their personal information like real name, address, city, state, name of their school, social security number, drivers license number, age, etc should not be listed on any open site. This includes blogs, IM or instant messages, profile pages, email signatures, etc.
Make sure that all pictures that are posted are only available for friends and family. Do not share pictures through sites that are not closed or blocked from strangers. This is for several reasons that should be explained to a teen or child.
a.Pictures can be altered into embarrassing images.
b.Pictures can be used to find the person they may be stalking.
c.Pictures are open images for people to do unimaginable things with.
d.The picture can provide personal information, which will make the predator able to communicate on a familiar level with the child or teen.
Never, ever set up face-to-face meetings with any person on the Internet. This includes any person, young or old. The reason is that a child may not be aware of the dangers and manipulations that are out there. An adult can say they are a teen or child. A predator can make arrangements for a child to lure another child into a place that makes abduction easier etc. There is no reason that a teen or child should meet a stranger, even if they are friends online.
Make sure that there are guidelines and rules set up for what can be downloaded from the Internet. This way you can protect your child and computer from invading pictures or viruses. This also goes along with the need to make sure that there is some type of blocking or filtering software set up. This helps prevent these types of viruses from coming through.
Encourage communication about what is happening with your child or teen on the Internet. Make it clear that if there is someone that says or does something that is inappropriate, that your children talk to you right away. This way you will be able to help protect them also.
The most important thing is knowledge. Know what your child or teen is viewing. Encourage that the sites that are used by your child or teen be kept on the favorites bar. This way, they will not accidentally click on links that can be dangerous. This will help them protect themselves.
Teach your child or teen about being aware of these dangers, and what to do if approached by a pedophile or if there is a file that is accidentally downloaded. This way they are empowered to protect themselves and the other people in their family. Knowledge is power and power is protection.