We all know that the internet is filled with information, most of it good and accurate, and some it is complete trash. But more and more reliable resources are becoming available on the internet. These resources are great for children and teens who are researching for their homework, but the internet can be a dangerous place for children.
The real worry for children on the internet is the possibility that they will be exposed to inappropriate material. With one misspelled word typed into a search engine, your child could easily become exposed to pornographic or violent material. Child internet safety issues are always a hot topic, but you can begin now by protecting your child when they use the internet.
The first line of defense for children and the internet are the parents. Know what your child is doing when they are on the computer. Make sure that they are using the internet for the purposes that you approve of, such as homework research and communicating with friends. If your child is talking to someone you do not know, you should ask them about the person and if it is a stranger, you will need to restrict their use of internet.
Many internet browsers offer parental blocks for specific websites. If there is a particular site that you do not want your children on, you can set these parental blocks so that they will not have access to it. There are also some online tools that will help prevent your child from being exposed to inappropriate material. You can even find programs online and in stores that will allow you to monitor your child's activities online. This way, you will be sure that they are doing exactly what they say they are doing while using the internet.
Internet safety laws are currently in place to protect your child as well. If there is anyone out there trying to collect your child's personal information, that person can get into serious trouble with the federal government. Make sure that you warn your children against giving out any type of personal information to anyone, even if they think they know exactly who they are talking to.
The best way to protect your child is to learn about the tools that come with your computer in order to block material from your child when they use the computer. You will also want to learn about software programs specifically designed to block offensive sites. The sites and programs that your child uses, such as social networking sites, email programs, and chat programs are especially important to know about. Make sure that you take the simple precautions to help children stay out of trouble like keeping the computer in a common area of the house, forbid children to participate in a chat room, and talk to your child often about internet safety. If you keep the dialogue open, you will find that your children will be more likely to listen to you and take your advice when it comes to their safety.
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