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However, while it has helped us progressed and opened a wonderful world of endless possibilities, the Web – like most other things in life – has a dark side.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the ugly side of the internet, and as parents you need to carefully mitigate their exposure to the more dangerous areas of the web.Banning your child from the internet is going to make them fall behind and will deprive them of essential technological skills that are required as they grow up.
As scary as it may seem to let your children roam the internet, there are a number of ways to keep kids safe online that you can implement in your home.
Set the rules
One of the best ways for keeping kids safe online is to start with clear communication. First things first, you need to make your children aware that there are things on the internet that are dark and dangerous. Ensure that they understand not to talk to strangers or give out any personal information about themselves.
Then set out some house rules about how long they are allowed to be on the internet and what sites they are allowed to go on and which ones they need to ask special permission for.
Confine it to social areas
While you don’t want your children to feel like you are constantly spying on them, one way of keeping kids safe online is to place their computers in your house (that are connected to the internet) in a safe, central and social spot where they will be easy to check up on.
A location that is frequently full of people is the best place to put the computers and means that your child will either know that can’t enter certain websites or simply that you can keep an eye on what they are up to.
ISP and search engine assistance
Before investing in expensive software programs, a good way to keep kids safe online is to start with what you have available to you. Your Internet service provider (ISP) will usually come with some sort of parental control that you can implement to monitor your child’s activities and to block certain websites based on age and material.
Furthermore, most search engines also have a parental control option, and while this could be changed by older, more tech-savvy kids, it’s certainly a good option. Google, for example, has a great parental control setting that can be used to limit your kids’ exposure to the websites that you wish them to avoid.
There are special software and programs that have been designed specifically for keeping kids safe online, and although they will cost you, they are also incredibly reliable and effective. CyberPatrol, ControlKey, and Kidsnet are just three of the most popular software tools that will help you to keep on top of the content that is reaching your child online.
Encourage communication and be approachable
When it comes to keeping kids safe online, the above points are important, but even more so is making sure that your children know that they can come to you if they experience something untoward while surfing the net. They are more likely to flag a problem if they know you will be supportive rather than angry and it is best to get them onside.
The Internet is a wonderful tool and it opens up portals of education to the future generations that we could never have imagined. However, it’s important to monitor what our children are exposed to while they are on the web.
Miniland Online is a safe and effective educational platform that can be used to improve and enhance your child’s educational environment both at home and at school.
At Miniland, we are committed to helping parents get the best education for their children through our interactive toys, handy guides and educational advice.