The internet is a minefield for the concerned parent. We don’t know what they are up to when they are in their room, are they looking at websites that aren’t suitable? Or sites that are violent and sordid? It’s a daily worry for many parents of young children and teenagers. And while we can impose screen time limits and do our best to warn them of the dangers of cyberbullying, the most sensible approach is to put into place good practices. We try to instill our kids with a good moral compass in their day to day lives, so why don’t we do it for their online lives too? Here are some things to teach them, and some practical ideas for the internet at home.
Keep Your Computer Protected
The amount of viruses and spyware that can infiltrate your computer purely because your child has decided to click on a stray link that looks interesting could potentially damage your computer. So, by having a good security program, and having your firewall and antispyware up and running, you are making sure that your computer is as protected from cybercrime as it can possibly be. Other common sense approaches include having a complex and unique password for each application, with lots of different numbers and symbols; and securing your home network with a good password and rigorous security settings. Also, teaching kids the importance of not clicking links if you don’t know where they came from, such as an email with an odd address (which are usually phishing scams), and having parental control software is fast becoming a solid approach to not just minimizing your kids’ internet time, but also can block certain websites. You can look online for the best parental control reviews and pick software that is the best for what you need. By limiting their use, especially if they are of a very young age, it helps to protect your computer and your children.
Giving Your Children The Knowledge They Need
As well as having the right protection in place, making sure your children know how to keep themselves protected when online is a necessary precaution. With cyberbullying at an all-time high, teaching them how to be diligent in their online practices will make them all the more safer. Make sure that your children never share their passwords with anybody, not even their closest friend. If they think they have, then they will need to change it as soon as possible. Teach them to log out of computers when they have finished, even when at home. This will stop anyone from emailing or posting using their account. Even if it is meant to be a joke, it can cause problems.
Cyberbullying is something that is common now. If you suspect that your child is being bullied online, the first step is to teach them to not reply, and keep a copy of all the messages as evidence before reporting it to the school or the website. There are now laws against this type of abuse, so schools and websites are duty bound to deal with it.