Who should set the house rules for internet usage? It should be the adults in the house. They will be the ones to take responsibility when there are problems. You can include your kids in setting the house rules for Internet usage also. If you live in an apartment or house with other adults the person responsible for the bill should be the one setting the rules.
If you are the adult setting the house rules for Internet usage you will need to keep in mind the ages of the children who will be using the Internet. Try to make the rules appropriate for their age and their interests. Set rules to keep the family safe. You should also speak with your spouse to decide what types of rules they think should be included. You can also have a family meeting to discuss the rules. Everyone can bring three or more ideas for rules and the family can discuss all of them.
If you are an adult living with other adults, the main person to set the rules for Internet usage in the home should be the person responsible for the bill. If the bill is shared with the others then everyone should take part in making the rules. Have a get-together to discuss the rules that should be made. The rules should help avoid conflict and keep the people in the house safe from any outside problems.
When thinking of or discussing what rules you want to include, think of rules that would benefit all the Internet users in the house. The rules should also include safety measures and privacy for those who need it. For multiple Internet users in the home you may want to think of setting up times that work well for all of the people in the home.
When you or your group is discussing Internet usage rules, make sure to include the rule that personal information is not allowed to be given out on the Internet. These would include the Internet users’ full name, address including the city, and where they go to school or work. You want to keep anything that can identify you or other members of the household private. Even if you share this computer with other adults there are risks to giving out this information for anyone who lives at that address.
While you are discussing the rules either as a family or as a group, think of time limits for all involved. This can be a certain amount of time that someone is allowed to be on the Internet or a given time of day that they are given. This should work with the schedules of all the Internet users. For instance you can’t give someone the afternoon for Internet use when they will be at school or work. Setting times or time limits will help avoid conflict of whose turn it is and how long they have to be on it.
If you are the parent making the rules for younger Internet users you should know all the passwords and user names of the websites they visit. This will help you monitor the websites they visit and see what the purpose of the websites are. If they participate in on-line communities then you should also join that site as a friend. This allows you to see what type of people they have on their personal pages of the network.
All these rules are important when setting the house rules for Internet usage. It is best to discuss the rules and what should be included in the rules as a group. However, sometimes it is better if a parent sets the rules and the children abide by them. No matter how you decide to set your rules it should be a responsible adult who sets the rules for home Internet usage.