The Internet’s growth has expanded exponentially in recent years, especially with the advent of social media websites. It can be an incredibly beneficial tool from many different standpoints, but on the same note, it can be a dangerous reality for many children. Of all the various inappropriate material on the web, there are specific types that break paternal controls most often.
Adult Content & ID Protection
Pornography has long been an online hazard for children, and although certain states have beefed up their pornographic content laws, their effectiveness has been almost non-existent. Thus, it’s important to be personally vigilent.
The other two top online dangers are social networks and illegal software downloads which can subsequently lead to other complications such as online identity theft. While it is certainly possible to use an identity protection service like Lifelock to monitor your information round the clock, the best preventative method is to actively ensure your children stays away from this type of material.
Monitor Your Child’s Online Activity
In many ways, the Internet is like an online public playground for children and adults. You wouldn’t leave your child unattended without supervision on a public playground. The same vigilance applies to their online activity. Be certain to periodically monitor what sites your child is visiting. What’s more, if the history on your browser is cleared, your child may be trying to hide something.
Set Your Parental Controls
Without parental controls put in place to block your kids from visiting pornographic or other inappropriate sites, they will be able to do so both intentionally and unintentionally. Either way, it is your job to make sure neither is possible via the parental controls on your computer. ABC-7 in Fort Myers, Florida, reports that guarding your children from chat rooms and even keeping their computer out where you can see it are effective measures for making sure your kids are protected.
Talk About Online Dangers
Speak to your child about the dangers of the Internet. With an age of new technology and widely accessible information also comes the need to inform your kids about the dangers of giving up too much of their private information online. The more information people know about your child, the more dangerous their online activity becomes.
Tech Goes Strong points out that some teens spend too much time on Facebook, and in that time are open to harassment by strangers trolling the web. Remind your kids to not accept friend requests from people they don’t know. This simple, but effective, rule of thumb will add a layer of security in your household.
Limit Online Usage
The truth is, too much online activity creates a very sedentary lifestyle for a child. Fifty years ago, children played outside significantly more. Instead, these days, kids do all of their playing virtually. Limit your child’s online time to an hour a day, or whatever you feel is necessary, but remember less time online promotes a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally.