Tips to maintain internet safety for your children
With so many great games, learning tools, and social outlets online, more and more children are logging on at younger ages. But social sites and chat rooms can pose safety threats to young ones. What are your best tips for keeping your child safe online?
Have passwords to all of their accounts and monitor them frequently. Talk to them about the dangers of the internet.
I love all the cool internet games. My kids are young so I set up of their internet usage. They do not know how to enter a www. address on their own. When my niece was over recently she was telling my daughter about a site she used at home. She entered the site but you had to sign up to use it. I told her we do not do that in our house and left it at that. My daughter has not asked me since. I enter the web addresses them book mark them on their desktops so they can get right into the game site they are looking for. My daughters first experience was with Webkins. She and my husband would sit and play together, what a great bonding time they had. It was almost a year of this before we let her use Webkins on her own, again we book marked the site on the desktop so all she had to do was click on the link and into Webkins she would go. We also have shared with her about NEVER share your username and passwords with anyone, EVER. With Webkins, I never let her friend anyone without my permission first. If she says her friend has asked her to be friends I ask their parents if the name of the person requesting friendship is indeed their child. If they say yes then I will allow her to friend them.
When my daughter got an American Girl doll for Christmas last year it came with a code to create log into American Girl site and she could play with her doll online. I sat with her and set up her profile and got her started. Similar to Webkins, if her friends have an American Girl account they can ask to be her friend. I follow the same principle, I have to confirm with her friends parents to ensure it is their child.
My son is just going to be 4 and most of the time my daughter sits with him and helps him with his games. My neighbor was telling me recently that she found some kids stuff on YouTube and was letting her 4 year old play, however he must have waivered from the page he was on and she started hearing some inappropriate language, she immediately turned it off and told him he could not play anymore that day. Because my children do not know how to add a URL Web Address they always ask when they want to go to a site their friends have told them about.
This has worked very well for us so far. When my children are mature enough for sites like Facebook or Twitter they will have to friend me, my husband and their aunts and uncles. If they at any point unfriend any of us/them then I will ban them from usage of the site. I will also monitor their texting and have access all their usernames and passwords. I think I will also pay the extra $$ a month to have the "GPS" feature/monitoring so I can validate they are where they say they are.
I want my kids to have access to the internet and feel safe while they do it. With all the programs out there to today that can monitor/restrict their activity. Even those that cost money are worth it. Many of these programs are free!
yeah cell phones u can block certain things like if u don't want them to use the internet u can block it smart phones u cant but any other u can the big problem i see with internet is kids are setting up a face book account before they are 13 supposed to be 13 to have a face book account to many kids are faking their age to get one and just the slightest spelling error or having the wrong example .net or .org or .com can make the biggest difference on finding a site
i was trying to find a girl scout troop where they were selling cookies and was told to go to the girl scout web site i typed in what i thought the girl scouts web site was and i typed .com and it was supposed to be .org and it took me to a sex site i couldn't believe it just the smallest mistake can change the whole site I have a 11 yr old and was told i can block any site out so she cant get into anything i down want her into
my friend says there lots of blocks for kids
Keep the computer in a busy location in the house so you can keep an eye on them. I did this for years and now I was able to let my 15 yr. old son put the computer in his room. I still keep a close eye on him and monitor his Facebook acct. All is well so far.
Choose games and learning tools with applications you can just install so they don't have to go online all the time. Make sure someone's always around while they're online. That way you can immediately see if they're on a website they're not supposed to be on. Tell them not add or accept people they don't really know. Educate them a little about what might happen. Make sure you know who they're friends with. If possible, know their passwords.
Continual education is foremost and parental access is a must. Technology is like a second language for up and coming kids so unfortunately in this area they are often smarter and more creative than we are in this area and can find ways past parental permission blocks, content blocks, etc.. I have educated my teens on the dangers of the internet, myspace, Facebook, Craig's List and texting we have continuous talks often involving horror stories many pulled from the media. I helped set up email addresses and the rule in my house is that I retain all passwords, can (will and do) check texts, emails and posts on a regular basis and they are not allowed to delete anything without my permission.
My children are not allowed to have Facebook because they are not mature enough to handle it but fortunately I would follow the lead of my sister who allowed her son to do it with the following restrictions he was a friend to her, his father and myself and couldn't at anytime unfriend them at anytime. She initially didn't allow him to friend the opposite sex until she got to know them but does agree to get to know her son's friends and she of course monitors the content of what he posts, his pictures and what others post on his wall and send him.
Lasty I also know and communicate with my friend's parents well who share the same value system and mentality about the internet and social mediums as myself. In fact, I recently found out that my daughter, who without permission, created a Facebook page from a parent who was checking his daughter's computer and found she did the same thing. After obtaining my , daughter's password, I checked out her page and reported to other parent's that thier kids have Facebook pages as well. I posted that my daughter's page (from her page), checked out some of her friends (caught one that was ten years older than her) posted I was going to be shut down her page and why, educated her on where she had mistakes in what she allowed the general public to see and then deleted her account. I also changed the password to her email account (that I maintain) and deleted all of her friend's request. She now uses the computer only when I can monitor her and she has to earn back trust and computer and internet privileges.
Last words for teen parents. OUR MOST POWERFUL ASSET OR WEAPON IS THE ABILITY TO MORTIFY OUR CHILDREN SOCIALLY AND PUBLICLY. IT'S OUR TRUMP CARD! BLUFF WITH IT, LORD IT OVER THEM AND WHEN NECESSARY USE IT!!!!!