Parenting

How to Keep Your Children Safe Online

The internet is an incredible feat of modern technology and is a useful resource in a variety of ways. It can enhance your knowledge on any subject you could ever think of, and it is vital for the success of businesses in today’s society. Over the last year, the internet has been instrumental in a student’s academic success, both in the classroom and while at home. Unfortunately, the internet can also be a place where predators take advantage of a child’s youthful innocence. If you’re a parent or an educator, you understand the importance of keeping children safe while online. Following, are tips you can use in order to enhance your children’s safety while using the internet.

Sit Down and Have an Open Conversation

By design, children are innocent. Their innocence makes them perfect targets for opportunistic, ill-intentioned, adults. Children have no idea what information they should never share with people online. Take time to have a discussion with your children about what information to always keep private. This includes your child’s full name, date of birth, address, phone number, and the name of their school. Do not make this a “one-time” conversation. Periodically remind them of this, and keep an open dialogue of communication with them. Encourage them to always come to you if they are ever exposed to something scary or inappropriate. Many children will never report when this happens to them because they become frightened that they will be in trouble with you. Reassure your children that you will not be upset with them and that you would be proud of them for coming to you and being honest with you about what they may have seen.

Consider Using Programs to Monitor Online Activity

Although you may have conversations with your child or student about their online behavior and being a good digital citizen, sometimes you need a little more assistance to assure you of a child’s appropriate online activity. Chromebook monitoring is a great way to make sure your children are never exposed to explicit content and other harmful material online. This kind of monitoring product can be tailored according to your child’s age and level of maturity. As your child proves to be responsible with their internet use, you can grant more access to other information online, or allow them to have a little more control over what websites they can visit.

Get Familiar with Popular Gaming Platforms Chat Features

Over the last few years, the rate of children using the internet to visit popular online gaming platforms has skyrocketed. While these kinds of games are entertaining and can encourage creativity and problem solving, they also usually include chat features within the game, allowing players to communicate with each other. While most of these gaming companies have taken steps to monitor the chat logs between players, there are times when children may be exposed to explicit or suggestive communications via the chat feature. Get familiar with your child’s favorite online games, and turn on parental controls if there are any available. Your child may be upset that they can no longer communicate with other players, however, you will enhance your child’s security and privacy when they play.

Set Limits

It should come as no surprise that the longer children spend surfing the internet, the higher their chances are of coming across something questionable. Over the last year, children’s screen time increased exponentially. Pediatricians recommend that children should spend no more than an hour per day on the internet. If you’re trying to decrease the chances of your child being preyed upon, try to stick to the pediatric recommendations on screen time. Another important note is to make sure that laptops and devices are always in a central, open area of your house, in order to monitor your children’s online activity.

It can be extremely stressful to ensure that you are doing everything possible to keep your children safe online. Fortunately, there are many things you can do in order to make sure that your children are never exposed to harmful content. By taking the aforementioned steps, and keeping an open dialogue with your children, you can ensure that your children will develop the skills they need, in order to be good online citizens.

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