Discover the internet together
Introducing your child to the internet is an advantage for both you and your child to discover it together. You should try to find sites that are fun and provide entertainment so that both of you have a positive attitude toward exploring the web. This makes it easier to share negative and positive experiences down the road.
Make an agreement with your child regarding use of the internet at home
Here are some tips that you can implement while discussing guidelines for browsing the net from home with your child.
• Discuss the time frame and period your child should access the internet.
• Provide guidance in regards to sharing personal information such as name, address, e-mail address, and phone numbers.
• Provide guidance on appropriate ways to behave with others while messaging, e-mailing, chatting, or gaming online.
• Create rules regarding acceptable and prohibited sites for your family.
Educate your child about being cautious when sharing personal information
It is essential for your child to be aware of websites that ask for personal information before he can access them. He should understand when to reveal personal information, including his photograph, and when not to.
Older children should be selective regarding their personal information, including photographs they share on social networks such as Facebook, as it is difficult to control the usage of such information by others.
Explain how to set the privacy and security settings of social networks to your child. All reputable social networking sites have safety settings, along with a block and report system. Avail of this opportunity to learn all of these settings along with him.
Educate him about the dangers of meeting online friends in person
Parents should recognize the positive side of social networks, which allows children to get to know other kids and establish friendships with them. They should insist that they may only meet online friends in person when someone they trust accompanies them. Even then, the approval of the parent is paramount, prior to such a meeting.
Teach your child to discriminate between good and bad information found online
Though kids use the internet to find information related to their studies and hobbies, they should realize that not all web based information is factual. You can show them how to separate the wheat from the chaff by comparing details of the same topic on different websites.
Do not be harsh
Kids might intentionally search for adult material or stumble upon adult sites by mistake. Instead of being harsh with them, let them know about the sites they should not visit. If necessary, block them from accessing such sites with the help of password protected filters on antivirus software that blocks the browser from opening such websites.
Report inappropriate sites to relevant authorities
Promote child internet safety by reporting pedophilic sites that lure children towards illegal activities via chat or messaging. Several sites allow you to anonymously report such sites to law enforcement agencies.
Eradicate cyber bullying
Teach your child how to respect others on the internet. They should discuss their views politely. Educate them that typing in `all caps' is equivalent to yelling. Both kids and grown ups should not snoop copy protected material or read e-mails of other individuals.
See what your child loves to do online
Guide you child about using the internet positively by sitting beside them when they surf the net, and see the sites they visit and what they do on them. This information can help you assess your child and his surfing habits.
Positive aspects of the internet outweigh the negatives
The internet is a mine of information boasting of countless child friendly sites. Guide your child to explore those sites and increase their knowledge from them, rather than visiting sites meant for adult audiences. Implement child internet safety practices today and teach your kids to read the terms and conditions of a website before exploring its contents.