When it comes to entertainment and education, the internet can be an amazing resource. The problem that many parents have is that the internet also has a lot of content that their children should not be exposed to. As a parent, you are responsible for stopping this content from reaching your children. When it comes to entertainment and education, the internet can be an amazing resource. The problem that many parents have is that the internet also has a lot of content that their children should not be exposed to. As a parent, you are responsible for stopping this content from reaching your children.
The problem that many parents have is that they do not know what they should be doing to protect their children. However, more and more government initiatives and internet provider initiatives have been established to help parents. These initiatives are providing parents with the tools they need to keep their children safe when they are online.
Alex Clarke from Convergence IT gives some simple advice: “The simplest step that you can take to protect your children is to have any device that can access the internet in rooms where you can actively monitor what is being viewed online.” Parents of young children will find this beneficial as they can turn web browsing into a parent and child activity. When you do this, you will be able to see what they are seeing and turn the solo act of surfing into something more family orientated.
When your children become older, it will be more difficult to control their access to the internet, but there are steps that you can take to limit what they see. The best way to do this is to use the parental controls on our router which will limit what content is sent through the connection. Internet services providers will often offer this control as part of your package and you will be able to find out how to use them on their website.
If your child has access to a mobile device which can connect to a 3 or 4G connection, there is also something that can be done. You can contact your mobile provider and make sure that parental controls have been activated. This will limit what is seen through the mobile data connection that your child has access to.
If you are with an internet provider that does not have a filtering service, you can use other third-party services which are generally free. Some of these services will protect all of the devices in your home or only the ones that you want to protect. These services will cover all types of devices that can access the internet from computers to TVs to game consoles.
While you are able to protect your children from inappropriate content online, there are other aspects to staying safe that you need to know about. These aspects will relate to how your children behave online and will include some basics such as:
- Not telling anyone your account passwords
- Not telling anyone any personal information such as where they go to school, their home address, their email addresses and their phone numbers
- Taking care when opening any files, picture or texts that come from an unknown person or a person that they do not trust
- Risks to safety also come from the interaction that children have with people online via email, social media, chat rooms and in-game communication systems.
This is why you need to make sure that your children understand that:
- They need to have parental permission before they arrange any real-life meetings with someone they have met online.
- You can never be 100% sure that someone is telling the truth on the internet.
- The way they treat people on the internet should be the same as they would treat them in real life. Bullying, being rude and being hurtful is not acceptable if it is only done online.
- If they have any doubts about something online or something is making them uncomfortable, they should tell an adult about it such as a parent or teacher.