The Internet is more accessible than ever, with smartphones, tablets, and other devices finding their way into younger and younger hands. With this accessibility come threats to our kids we would be folly to ignore. Did you know that more than 65 percent of kids have accidentally visited an inappropriate website online? Or that more than a quarter of kids have been cyber bullied? These raise important questions about what you as a parent can be doing to limit your children’s chances of becoming statistics.
It starts with education. Before granting your kids access to the Internet and social media, a serious conversation should take place about safety, restrictions, and house rules regarding computer/device usage. You should be empowering your kids to understand the implications of an online reputation and the importance of privacy. The significance of understanding “stranger danger” is equally high online as it is in the real world. Once your son or daughter acknowledges these issues, there are ways you can set yourself and your child up for success and restraint.
First, locate the family computer in a high-traffic zone, like the kitchen or living room. Computers and smart phones in bedrooms lead to unrestrained, unmonitored use. Always check the privacy settings of all your child’s social media accounts to make sure everything is appropriately restricted, and consider installing some privacy software to limit your child’s exposure to illegal, vulgar, or pornographic websites.
It can be difficult to navigate the process of educating and monitoring your child’s social media presence without invading their privacy, but it is an important parental journey that needs to be taken seriously. By following some of these tips, you’ll be setting up your child for life.
Source: Fix.com Blog