Internet presence can be refreshing, entertaining and educative but the consequences of improper use can be damaging. A survey showed that 15 percent of social network users had posted their current location or travel plans, 34 percent had posted their full birth date and 21 percent of those that have children had posted those children's names and photos online, thus taken risks that can lead to burglaries, identity theft and stalking among others.
Though, everybody is at risk but research show that children are more vulnerable than adults because of their lack of experience. In this article we shall look at ways through which parents can protect their children online.
1.Installation of Internet control software. This software is use to block the visit of unwanted sites on your personal computer or server. Parents can install what is called parental control software on their children computer to prevent accessibility to corrupt/adult sites such as pornography site e.t.c
2.You can enlighten your family on the danger pose by misuse of the Internet. Give them safety rules and how you as a parent want them to operate on the Internet.
3.Put family computer in a place that will be easily accessible by every member of the family and in such a way that the screen is visible to anyone around that vicinity.
4.There is nothing bad in knowing what your children is doing online. You can approach them when they are in front of the computer to know what they are doing. You can share your opinion on what they are doing or ask questions.
5.Parents can develop the idea of surfing together with their children to know how well they are doing online.
6.Parents can click on the history button on the web to know the site that have been visited by their children.
7.Parents should also find time to know or learn more about Internet and how things work on the Internet.
8.They can also join some of these social networking sites to know how things are done on these media network.
9.Make some rules about the amount of time your children should be spending on the Internet. Let them know that time is money. Let them see the need to spend their time on other important aspect of their life like reading, exercise, socialize with friends, staying in touch with family members e.t.c
Watch out if your child or children spend too much time online and whether this have affected the time spend with friends and family and maybe they are sometimes nervous and turn off the computer quickly or switch to another page when you enter the room. These are red alerts and can mean that your child is doing something improper online.
10.Enlighten your children to use the privacy settings on their social networking sites and that they should restrict access to photos and status updates to only those they know and trust.
11.Tell your children to use phone as a medium of communication if they want to share something secret rather than through the Internet via chat, e-mail or social media
12.Teach your children not to disclose private information such as name, home address, telephone number, e-mail address, SSN and date of birth as exposing these informations can put them in danger and risk.
13.Part of your duty as a parent is to use your experience to help your children. Let them know that Internet presence is about reputation. Teenagers need to know that with one post or photo updates their reputation can be spoiled and this can have unthinkable consequences.
14.Children need to be careful with what they post online as this will represent their value and worth as individual.
15.It is important for parent to advice their children to be selective on whom they accept as friends on social network.
Some useful friendly policy you can use on social media sites are:
16.Only accept people that you don't just recognized but really know
17.Ignore friend request from someone you don't know. Never add strangers.
18.Only add friend you have known for a long time and with good reputation and high moral standard.
19.Don't hesitate to delete friends that are posting something you think is improper.
20..Lastly, my own advice for everybody including both children and parents is that they should always sign out from any site on the Internet including e-mails and social networking sites.
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