I bet all of my readers have some sort of virus software installed to help keep your computer safe, but how many of you have solid plans for keeping your child safe while using the Internet? Internet Safety should be included in your homeschooling curriculum at some point. It is relevant for all age groups, even adults. My daughter, a teenager, and I have had discussions about ways she is to protect herself when accessing the Internet. We also explored why it’s important.
Have you heard about Cyber bullying? It is very real in today’s social media circles. So many older kids today use Facebook, My Space, chat sites, surf randomly, visit You Tube, blogs, and who knows what else. Many times, kids have no idea whether their movements are being tracked, who is reading what they post, who they are truly chatting with, who hacked their account, and so forth. Most kids do not purposefully go to “bad” sites, but bad sites ARE seeking them, tricking them, luring them in…
Do your kids know what information NOT to give at registration sites, in chat rooms, in post comments??? Do your kids know not to ever mention their school by name? Mentioning the name of a school or places near your home helps pinpoint the location of your child. Pedophiles have sneaky ways of finding that type of information. If your child posts pictures on the Internet, things in the background of the picture such as buildings or parks, specific clothes (such a school uniform, cheerleading outfit, team mascot or logo on clothes…) give away your general area. Even if your child doesn’t mention these type of things, chances are his friends might comment about them.
Take time to share safe surfing tips with your teen. Teach them to guard their information. The FBI offers a free report, Parent Guide to Internet Safety , that is a very good starting point for parents wanting to learn ways to spot online sexual predators.
Arm yourself and your child today, don’t wait!