The internet is a wonderful tool for communicating with friends and family, researching topics, and has a certain entertainment value for young and old alike. The internet also has a wealth of criminals and identify theft masterminds. So safety measures should be taken to keep safe.
Internet Safety Tips To Keep Safe
It is wise to learn appropriate actions to keep yourself and your children safe when using the internet. Here are 10 internet safety tips to keep you safe from trouble.
#1 Education is Key
By simply banning a person from different sites, that person will only become more intrigued and more likely to go to those sites. Be a proactive parent and go through the sites that you do not want your child to be on, and then make a list of why the site is not good for them. After you have educated yourself on the sites and understand fully the danger of each site, sit down with your child and go through the list you made with them. Help the child to understand that these sites can be dangerous and that they are not good for them. Also give them a list of sites that are great for them to visit and what they can and cannot do while online.
#2 Teach Identity Rules
Children should never post photos of themselves or their friends on the internet. Parents and teachers need to stress that any identity related information should not be posted anywhere on the internet. A child, even a teenager, should never give out their names, address, phone numbers or any other personal information such as what school they attend to anyone online.
Adults should also follow this general rule and remember whatever is posted on the internet will remain on the internet for infinity, this in true even if you delete the content, a copy remains online. Personal information regarding work schedule and travel plans should also not be posted. This gives thieves an opportunity to know when your home will be unoccupied.
#3 Use Internet Filter Programs
There are several programs available, some for a fee and others are freeware, which allow you to set certain filter criteria to avoid specified content on the internet. These programs are especially helpful for those people with children who use the internet. It allows you to filter by keyword or simply to block certain sites.
There are also programs that will monitor where on the internet a person goes and record all keystrokes. This is useful when trying to monitor who your child is chatting with and where they are going while online.
#4 Prevent Dangers from Occurring
Research and learn the ins and outs of the websites that your child frequents. By being knowledgeable, parents can prevent their child from getting involved in something that can potentially harm them. Even if the child frequents social networking sites, learn what their likes on that site are and who has been contacting them. On the flipside, learn who your child contacts while on the site.
#5 Teach About Encountering Pornography
Pornography can pop up anywhere online, in ads or unsolicited sites and children need to know what to do should they encounter it. Teach your child how to quickly turn off the monitor and to go get an adult. This teaches the child to look for an authority figure to correct the situation rather than them trying to by clicking buttons and adding to the possibility of being exposed to more graphic images.
Adults encountering pornography should close out of the window and then set the computer’s filter to eliminate the risk of it popping up again. If the computer does not have a filter, download a free program to filter graphic images and inappropriate sites.
#6 Time Them
Children, including teenagers, should only be given allotted times on the internet. If they are researching for an assignment give them a little longer to find the necessary information. By not giving them uncontrolled access, they have a lower risk of being exposed to inappropriate content. And, yes, even adults sometimes need to limit their internet usage.
#7 Set Guidelines
Children need guidelines to thrive and know where the boundary lines are. The same applies for their usage online. By setting rules and consequences and then following through, the child understands what behavior while on the internet is acceptable.
#8 Keep it in the Open
Never allow a child or teenager to have a computer in their bedroom. The same really applies for anyone in the house unless working from a home office. The temptation to go where they are not supposed to is too great when they are behind closed doors. Having the computer in the open keeps them from being tempted to do something that is not allowed.
#9 Open Communication
Keep communication open with your children. Let them know what is expected and the consequences of not following the rules, but also let them know that you are willing to sit down and listen to them. This gives the child security in knowing that you will not immediately judge and condemn. This same concept applies toward adults as well. Everyone needs to know that they can go to each other and discuss what they saw or did while online and find ways to avoid the behavior in the future.
#10 Understand Privacy Policies