The Internet is everywhere. The Internet is worldwide and used by billions of people. It truly is a wealth of information. Use of the Internet in the wrong ways can lead to computer problems or other problems. Your computer and Internet time needs to be shared with the whole family. Your home will need some house rules for safe Internet usage. Rules would include how long to be on the Internet and sites that are acceptable to visit. The rules will also depend on the age of the people using the Internet.
To keep everyone in the family safe you need to set some rules for safe surfing of the Internet. First Talk to your spouse and decide what you both think is appropriate for use of the Internet. Decide on how many hours or minutes are appropriate. Discuss what time of day the Internet can be used. These rules for Internet usage are to keep the family and the computer safe. Think of the ages of your children and make rules according to their ages.
Make sure to let any Internet users in the house understand that personal information is not allowed to be given out on the Internet. These would include the Internet users full name, age, address including city, and where they go to school or work. You want to keep anything that can identify you private.
If you do on-line shopping you still need to be careful of what you enter for the web sites. Make sure the sites use secure shopping before placing orders. It might be best to use one form of payment for all purchases so you can watch the one account for unauthorized purchases. It is a smart idea to not store the bank account information on the website. It may be more convenient but your risk of identity theft is greater.
For older 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 online communities then you should also join that site as a friend. This allows you to see what type of people they get onto their personal pages.
If you or another user creates we pages it would be a good idea to go over some rules for creating the pages and what type of content is safe. You should be careful in putting pictures on these pages. You don’t want to accidentally allow someone to identify you or your children because of names you have put onto the web pages. You should also be aware of putting things on the web pages that may be owned by other people. This is considered stealing. Before publishing the site to the web someone else should look at the page to make sure it is appropriate.
You or another Internet user in your home may need to do a search for information. Searches can become problematic and the content undesirable if not done right. The best way to fix this problem is to have someone monitor younger web users when they are doing a search. Another option is to do the search yourself and mark the URL’s in the favorites list for later use. Some search engines also come with a family friendly filter but still some undesirable sites get past those filters.
Other Internet usage rules that should be discussed would include chat rooms, Internet file sharing, or instant messaging. When using these you want to filter what is said and remember not to disclose anything that could identify you or where you live. If the younger Internet users are on instant messaging make sure you have approved their friend list. Chat rooms should be on a password basis so that the only people chatting are invited. This reduces the risk of strangers coming in. File sharing should only be done with people who are trusted and that you know personally.
House rules for Internet usage will be different for every household. Time restraints should be used to keep fights to a minimum, especially for kids in the house. Rules for proper use and information given out needs to be discussed and can be posted by the computer. Rules can be based on the ages of the users and their interests. Monitoring is good to make sure the rules are followed.