Internet Safety For Children

Online Safety For ChildrenKeeping children safe while they are on the Internet is a concern for every parent. By its very nature most of the Internet is unregulated and is very much still a "Wild West" situation despite laws put in place by most countries. Ultimately it comes down to not only protecting children from accidental exposure to online predators and inappropriate material but also preventing their own curiosity from leading them into dangerous situations.

Depending on how tight you want security for your kids as they learn to use the Internet there are many options including software, hardware, and monitoring devices that can essentially lock down a computer and prevent almost all inappropriate content from ever reaching your child. These are discussed more fully in our videos on cyberbullying and kid safe webpages.

Here we are going to look at some common sense things any parent can do without outside assistance that can avoid many problems associated with inappropriate content that children might run into as well as actions to take when they do.

Internet Safety Tips For Kids

This is a list of 8 lessons that every child should be taught before they log onto the Internet. Although these lessons are aimed primarily at pre-teens they're good to discuss with any child at any age at least once.

Curious Kids

When a child is not actively seeking out objectionable material it is easy to block. Various software suites and kid friendly search engines will keep almost all of this material away. If however the child is actively attempting to access inappropriate material it becomes more difficult. Parents are the front line of defense in this area and ultimately it will be up to the parents to correct this behavior. Software and search engines can help but ultimately a determined child with computer skills can do amazing things.

Many times children seek out inappropriate material out of curiosity alone. They know there's something out there that parents don't want them to see and it is for that reason they feel they must see it.

More often than not, if they succeed in finding the forbidden content, they regret that they did. Most adults now can remember back to being a kid and sneaking into an R-rated horror movie or staying up late to secretly watch something on television that they were not allowed to. They often wish they hadn't seen the movie and were noticeably disturbed and felt unable to speak with their parents about the issue because they broke the rules in the first place.

Now imagine that same situation but instead of sneaking into the movies you logged on to the Internet and accessed the near limitless amount of adult content and graphic violence available today online. It is certainly possible that kids could get some bad ideas from this situation.

Rules For Parents

Here are 7 items for parents to learn to help them not only protect their children online but help prevent them from actively seeking out inappropriate material.

Online Predators

It is becoming more and more common for children to be targeted by online predators. These people could be cyberbullies from the kid's school, Internet trolls who randomly attack anyone they find online or even sex offenders trying to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. Attacks from these predators have warning signs the parents should be on the lookout for.

If your child seems startled when you enter the room while they are on the computer or suddenly turns the computer off as you walk in find out why. Begin monitoring online activity more closely at this point. Other warning signs include:

These signs could be a warning that your child has been in contact with an online predator. If you believe that this is the case immediately begin recording any messages your child receives. If it appears that it is possible your child has been targeted by sex offender or has been sent pornography from someone via the Internet contact the FBI or local law enforcement immediately as this could be a very serious situation.

Open discussions about things such as pornography and other material of an explicit or graphic nature can help in this regard. These discussions are never easy but as with most things it is easier to avoid damage than to repair it later. Open communication can also help identify online predators early and prevent potentially disastrous results.

I hope the information in this video gave you some ideas on how to make your child's internet experience a more positive one. If you found this helpful please share it on Facebook and follow us on twitter via the account name below.