One of the easiest ways to help kids learn or retain a skill is to have them play a game. It is easy to find lots of online learning games for kids. Just google the term and you will see tons of hits. The not-so-easy part of the equation is to make sure the sites you allow your child to visit are safe. Internet safety is a very real concern for today’s parents. Cyber bullying, chat rooms, pedophiles, companies tracking you as you hop from site to site…there are tons of reasons to monitor Internet usage by kids. It doesn’t matter if your child is young or a teen, Internet safety is of prime importance. If you don’t believe me, read the newspaper, watch television, or google Internet safety. I am sure you will change your mind and quickly!
If you are using the internet today be sure that you are doing everything possible to stop intrusions on your privacy and that you are squelching any Internet safety threats that might pop up. Verify that once a month that all the following are deleted: cookies, history, temporary internet files, and passwords. Verify that your anti-virus and malware software are current and run a full system scan. If your child has a Facebook account, verify that nothing malicious is posted and no one is harassing them. A review of the pictures on their profile would be appropriate also.
Internet Safety Tips for Children
Internet safety policies and guidelines can help make the Internet a safer experience for your family members.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Place your computer in an open room with the monitor facing out. This allows you to see and control what is occurring on the Internet.
- Educate your children about the Internet, both the positives and the potential dangers.
- Bookmark child-friendly web sites. This allows your children to easily get to safe sites that they have used before.
- Teach your children that Internet safety means never giving out personal information over the Internet.
- Share your Internet child safety experiences, both good and bad, with others.
- Teach your children to refrain from chat rooms.
- Don’t install Peer-to-peer applications. A high percentage of what occurs with children and peer-to-peer applications is related to either illegal or immoral activities.
- Teach children to crash and tell. If they encounter a bad experience, they should feel comfortable in immediately turning off the computer and talking with a parent about the experience.
- Never allow your children to meet with someone from an online session unless the parent approves.
- Know the parents of your children’s friends.
- Teach children to never open email from someone they don’t know.
- Never respond to an unsubscribe on a pornographic email. If you or your child receives a message that is harassing, of a sexual nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your ISP, and ask for assistance.