While the Internet is a wonderful thing, allowing us to shop online, communicate with those who are miles away, and have instant access to the money in our banks, it can be a very dangerous place for our children. As a parent, your child’s safety is your top priority. And in this day and age of technological advances, Internet safety needs to be of your biggest concerns.
Encourage Open Conversation
The best thing you can do is encourage a lot of conversation with your child about what they are doing online. These discussions should be as easy for you as discussing their latest homework assignment or the possibility of taking Karate classes. Be sure that your kids understand the need to be safe online. Discuss the websites your child visits and look at those websites yourself to be sure they’re safe.
Make Rules And Stick To Them
There’s nothing wrong with establishing some rules regarding your child’s Internet activity. There should be established guidelines regarding how often your child can use the computer as well as for how long. This will help you to monitor their activity as well. It’s important to resist the urge to “bend” the rules as well, even though it can be tempting to award your child with extra computer time for good behavior.
Become A Part Of Your Child’s Online World
Use a Parental Intelligence System to stay connected to their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Myspace. Friending your child on Facebook isn’t enough. Be sure that you know their passwords and periodically check their accounts to monitor their activity. You’re not invading their privacy. Be sure your child knows that you’re going to monitor their online behavior to deter them from risky conversations or activity that they know you don’t approve of. Remember, the goal is to teach them to govern their behavior and make better choices.
Your child can still use the Internet and remain safe as long as the proper precautions are in place. Involved parenting will show your child how much you care and you will become aware of any problems before they become disasters.
Tim Woda is the co-founder of uKnow.com, developers of uKnowKids™ – the world’s leading parental intelligence system.