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Internet Safety Tips for Your Child
Raising children seems to be a much tougher task then it used to be, or that’s what it feels like when parents of this generation recount their past memories and the things their parents used to do. A huge factor in this change is the tech revolution, which not only made the internet a part of the family structure like the television but also made it accessible by just about anyone anywhere and it doesn’t have to be necessarily within site. Big cable wires are gone replaced by Wi-Fi and the family PC no longer has monopoly thanks to smartphones, tablets and laptops.
As a parent, asides from fritting over the negative impacts of these things, it’s crucial to take initiative and carry out some security and privacy measures to assure your child is harm free when using the internet. Here are some tips to get you into active parent mode.
1. Constantly Communicate. It’s pretty much impossible to keep children away from the internet altogether. Instead spend time with them online and teach them the ethics of internet use. If you forego this step, you may find your child lost in a sea of influences which may include severe issues like cyber bullying without knowing what to do about it. And since children have a tendency to forget, reinforce this by talking about it regularly and encourage them to share their experiences with you.
2. Use PC Monitoring Software. The first place children should be allowed to access internet from is the family PC. This way all their internet activities can be easily available to you. Make sure you check web history regularly and also use PC monitoring software. This way if any history is deleted you will still know what has been happening and can also get full chat logs, screenshots, etc. Some good ones are PC TattleTale and there are many affordable and even free monitoring software that you can choose according to your needs.
3. Use Parental Controls. If your child (in most cases a tween or a teen) owns a cell phone, then it means they have more access to internet then they would if they were restricted to the PC only. Of course taking away their cell phone or locking it up at night is not a practical option. Instead you can use parental control options which mean limited cellular service, data packages and blocking of websites you deem inappropriate. You can further block calls, texting, or internet browsing after a certain time (which kids are supposed to use as study or sleep time). If your cellular service provider offers these options then you can make use of it or opt for separate parental control software.
4. Keyloggers. If you feel your child needs extra monitoring then a cheap and efficient option to monitor them when they are online and ensure their security is a keylogger program. Keystroke logger can record keystrokes and archive each and every thing your child types into their phone, laptop or tablet. Places like FaceBook chat where children are most likely to be bullied or targeted by sexual predators become accessible to you. This way you can rest at ease and know that nothing will escape you.
5. App Safety. Sometimes parents forget that by downloading apps, their children are again susceptible to all sorts of harm. Some apps make use of inappropriate language or adult content which some children may be sensitive to. Other than that, apps like FaceBook, Twitter and WhatsApp may become mediums for communication with strangers. Make sure you are aware of and approve any apps that your child may be using to access internet.
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