Many parents are looking these days for internet safety tips on how to keep their children and teens safe from harm. It’s not just because of identity theft but because of the worry, and very real possibility, of the identity of your child being stolen by a pedophile whose specific purpose on the internet is to attract young children. Teaching your child and your teen about internet safety is paramount.
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Fortunately, most internet service providers afford you the opportunity to control your kids’ usage. You can check to see what sites they been to and monitor them as closely as possible. That works, if you monitor on a regular basis. Some children are computer savvy enough to learn how to hide where they’ve been. And, if not, someone they meet online may just teach them how.
But in those cases when they are using a computer outside the home, the risks are more dangerous.
Here are some Internet Safety Tips that we hope will help:
1. Teach your child about internet safety by discussing what can happen to them if they enter chat rooms or engage in any type of online activity that can be harmful. If they are old enough to understand, gently discuss the ways in which they can be fooled by untrustworthy people.
2. Instruct them never to give out their name, telephone number or address to anyone. This applies to their password as well. Spelling out the worst case scenario will give them pause to think the next time they go online. This is vital to their safety. You cannot mince words when it comes to internet safety without frightening them to the point of nightmares. You have to be very clear, concise; using an urgent tone at the same time.
3. Teach them about emails. Warn them not to open any email if they do not know for sure who it’s from. Alert them to instant messages from people they don’t know.
4. Ensure you check their computer habits on a daily basis. Leave no room for anyone to invade your child’s life. It is important to understand the number of pedophiles who go after children has become a pandemic. All you have to do is watch any of the news programs to see for yourself how easily your child can become a victim.
5. Some shareware programs invite hackers to invade your computer information. If you are not aware of how hackers and other unwanted criminals can access your system, it is incumbent upon you to research the data.
6. Use every conceivable virus protection program you can.
7. Before the computer is turned off, clear out the cache to all websites visited. This will prevent further usage of these websites and may deter your child from seeking them out.
While computers may be a necessity today at school or at home, they should be used cautiously, carefully, and with the utmost care.
Computers may be needed in today’s lifestyle and we do want our children to use them - but they can also be the catalyst which can harm your child in ways you’ve never imagined.
Best Pennywise Tip: you've probably heard it before but we'll say it again. Keep up - and continuously build - a strong relationship with your children. Be strong. Enforce (gently) well thought out home rules and standards. These help children to know they are loved and cared about. Unforseen traumas happen in hte best of families, but if you have this basis, it will always be there for everyone to come back to at some point.
Reports we've read, stress that children who have a strong basis of faith will do better no matter what happens. It's just true, faith will see you all through the worst of times.
But let's not presuppose that will happen, let's just be prepared by teaching children how to protect themselves against the worst part of the world, just as we would lock the door of our house.
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