The majority of parents did not grow up using the Internet so they have trouble setting boundaries for their children’s Internet usage. The Internet can be a wonderful educational resource for children and be a valuable tool for them to learn about. There are also many perils associated with the Internet.
It is important for understand the potential dangers of children’s Internet usage and to learn ways to educate them about appropriate online behavior. There should also be predetermined limits to children’s non-school related computer and Internet use.
Children should understand that they should never give passwords to anybody except for their parents or caregivers. Parental control software can help monitor children’s Internet use and block them from inappropriate websites. Children may not be intentionally visiting inappropriate websites or downloading viruses but might type the wrong web address or click on an inappropriate link. Parents can be aware of children’s general Internet use without being too pushy. Setting up family computers in a public space in your home prevents inappropriate Internet use and allows parents to casually be involved in knowing what types of websites their children are visiting.
Chat rooms are a particular threat to children’s online safety. Although there are many safe chat rooms, there are also many people that abuse chat rooms. Parents should be especially careful when monitoring their children’s chat room and instant messaging use. There are safe “homework buddy” chat rooms or instant message help that students frequently use. These and other such chat rooms are monitored by a trained adult and safe for children to use. Always check out a chat room prior to your child using it. Also, make sure that they type in e-mail addresses or screen names correctly so that they are really speaking to their friends on e-mail or instant message.
The Internet can be a great resource for kids and parents alike but kids need to know their boundaries in order to avoid exposure to dangerous people or inappropriate content. To learn more about Internet safety visit: http://www.consumerinjurylawyers.com/resources/kids-rules-online-safety/index.html.