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In the twenty-first century, it is scary to think about how easy it is for your little darlings to access sensitive and damaging material on the Internet. You want to protect your children and keep them safe when they are playing the Xbox games or when they are chatting with pals on Facebook Messenger. You don’t want to police their activities online, but you also don’t want to give them free rein to go on the Internet and access what they please, when they please. Take a look at these three simple things you can do to help keep your kids safe online.
Your kids might feel like they are pretty streetwise. However, being online is a totally different kettle of fish. They may encounter different individuals who are nothing more than pretend. Anyone can set up a social media profile pretending to be a fourteen-year-old boy when they are, in fact, a forty-year-old man who may end up being charged with enticement. You need to teach your children not to give out personal information under any circumstances. They should have their profiles set to the highest privacy settings and they should never accept a stranger’s friend request. No one needs to know their phone number or the school that they attend.
You need to treat online access as a privilege that needs to be earned and not abused. Don’t allow your child to access the Internet at all hours. Once they have done their homework, they can have one hour of time online. This time should be spent online with stringent parental settings applied so that they cannot stumble across anything untoward or inappropriate. Ensure that the online time that they have is spent doing something fun and worthwhile. There are plenty of age-appropriate games online or informative sites to look up. Scrolling through Instagram pages of fake filtered images will only have a negative impact on your little cherub’s self-esteem.
The most important thing that you can do as a responsible parent is to talk to your children and be open and transparent. Being online shouldn’t be scary, and yet there are people online and content accessible, which can make it daunting for moms and dads to let their kids on the Internet. Parental controls are vital, but leading by example is just as important. Ensure that you talk to your kids about what they have seen online. If they are troubled by anything, make sure that they feel empowered to come to you first to talk about it.
Being open means that you can take anything untoward to the next level if needed. You can also praise your child for speaking up, doing the right thing and being mature enough to notice when something wasn’t quite right. Having access to the Internet is a privilege for everyone, so make sure that you don’t abuse it.
Children of the twenty-first century have a smaller world to enjoy, and this is thanks to the Internet. Make sure you keep your kids safe online by following this guide.