Our children are living in a complicated world, at least when we compare to how the world was when we were young. Then, we didn’t have the internet at our fingertips; our playing was outside, just on our street, and if ever anything went wrong, one of the parents on the road would make sure it was dealt with. Today, our children exist in a digital world as well as the real world. Both have their dangers, but it’s the anonymity of the internet that causes concern. Below, we take a look at five tips for keeping your children safe while they’re online.
Your child might protest, especially if they’re in their teen years, but it’s important that you get involved in their internet use. One of the biggest causes for concern is cyberbullying, whereby children are harassed via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. If you’re on these social networks yourself, then ask to be friends with your child. You’ll be able to see if anything is nasty is being directed towards your child; or if they’re nasty to anyone else! In some cases, it might be appropriate to ask for your child’s login details, too.
You can never be sure what your child is getting up to online if all their internet use happens in the comfort of their own bedroom. To have greater control over their online use, place all laptops or computers in communal areas, such as the living room. If your child stumbles upon anything they shouldn’t, you’ll be there to direct them towards safe sites. You’ll also be able to see if your child gets upset at something online, as they won’t be able to hide it.
What’s On The Devices
It’s not just laptops that you need to concern yourself with. Many children now have tablets and smartphones of their own that won’t be shared with anyone else. Still, you should monitor what they have on their devices, to make sure all the applications they’re downloading is a safe app for kids. You may always want to check which messaging services they’re using and find out who they’re talking to.
It’s important to remember that technology doesn’t have to rule your family’s life all the time! While it can be useful at times, remember that too much screen time isn’t good for anyone. If you think your child is spending too much time online, then introduce technology free evenings into the family household. It can bags of fun sitting around, playing a board game, baking biscuits, or otherwise enjoying the simple pleasures of unplugged life.
Ultimately, your child will only know what you teach them. Children can have a naive understanding of the world. You know more, so inform of the dangers of using the internet, and encourage to use their time online wisely. By being an active participant in your child’s digital world, you can ensure that they’re kept and safe and just use the internet for its benefits.