Protecting Your Kids Online

The Internet can be a fun and effective teaching tool for children, but our generation of tech-savvy kids are faced with more online dangers than ever before. According to statistics published by Pediatrics magazine last year, 40 percent of kids between the ages of 10-17 have seen internet pornography in the past year; two thirds of those exposures were unwanted. Pornographic images are widespread on the internet, and some websites with adult content choose web addresses similar to commonly used websites. There are also websites on practically every topic, including ones that glorify violence, racism, drug use, and eating disorders. Chat rooms can be a fun place for children to talk to their friends and make new ones. However it's easy for anyone to access chat rooms, even secure ones, and add to the conversation.



If your child is online, it is vitally important to have parental controls on your computer. While technology can’t replace awareness and common sense, some software can aid parents in keeping tabs on their children’s Internet activities and blocking them from inappropriate content.

If you are looking for some great software, we really like Safe Eyes. It has all of the features a mama needs to assure safe and responsible web browsing for her children. It gives you the ability to limit access to websites and blocks harmful content. It also keeps a log of sites your children have visited. You can even monitor chatrooms, social networking sites, and youtube viewing. We love a feature that allows you to specify the amount of time that can be spent online, and the times of the day when the Internet is available.

We are the first generation of parents to face the challenge of helping our children make the most of their virtual space while keeping them safe in it. If you’re still getting your footing in virtual parenting, don’t worry. InternetSafety.com has the following tips to help ensure that your child’s online experience remains positive.


1. Become a net-savvy parent
The best safeguard against online dangers is being informed. Jump in and learn the basics of the Internet—read articles, take a class, and talk to other parents. A good place to start is http://www.learnthenet.com/. You don’t have to be an expert to have a handle on your child’s online world.

2. "Chat" with your kids
Develop an open dialogue so that you can talk with your kids about the benefits and dangers of the Internet. Cultivate an interest in their online activities—their favorite Web sites, online games, and interests. And don’t be afraid to ask your children who they are talking to online and what they are talking about.

3. Agree on a game plan
Use the InternetSafety.com Gameplan™ to formally agree on your family’s guidelines for using the Internet. Post them near the family computer as a reminder. Ensure that your kids know to never share personal information on the Internet and that they should tell you about any online activity or contact that makes them uncomfortable.

4. Protect your computer
Take advantage of the software that exists to help parents manage their children’s computer experience. In only a few minutes, parental control software like Safe Eyes can block inappropriate websites, restrict the amount of time that your kids use the Internet and monitor their Instant Messenger chats to protect against predators.

5. Explore the Internet as a family
With a game plan and a protected computer, you can now encourage your family to take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer. Take a genuine interest in what your kids are doing and stay engaged with them online

What steps are you taking to make sure your child is safe online?

3 comments:

  1. Great tips! I only have one kid that goes online and I dont do anything to monitor her. she is only going to nick jr, PBS and disney.com and I am always in the room helping. one of these days she will be online alone and that scares me

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  2. Great article. Lo should be aware of typosquatting: online porn marketers buy domains that are misspellings of kid sites to try and get them hooked on internet porn. Sick but true. A friend's daughter tried looking up webkins.com and misspelled it, and ended up on a hardcore porn site. It really scarred her. She didn't have a filter then but she does now. Point being it's not just what your kids are looking for, but who or what is looking for them.

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  3. Good tips. It is nice to see more parents blogging about these things so we can protect our children. As a father of a 5 year old, I want my son to grow up proficient on the Internet, but I don't want to throw him to the wolves either. Knowledge is key.

    I've got some tips on my blog too:

    http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/2009/07/13/tips-and-links-on-internet-safety-for-kids/

    ReplyDelete

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