The internet is a big place. It’s a wonderful resource for children. Research for school reports are simplistic, communication with other kids and teachers is easy and interactive games can keep a child entertained for hours. Kids think that they can access the world. Along with those positives there are some negatives. Dangers lurk at every turn and they prey on unsuspecting people including children. Those dangers can be as simple as mistyping a word on Dell PCs (i.e., mistyping ‘Lego’ and type ‘legs’ instead) to something more severe. Parents have to be aware of what is going on online and find a way to protect them.One thing that is protecting children is internet safety laws. Called COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act it is there to make sure child personal information is not obtained without parents’ approval. All websites are required to explain their privacy policies and get parental approval before using a child’s information for their use. The law also states that a site collecting more information than necessary to play games, enter a contest or other simple tasks is prohibited. This is implemented but it is not enough. Prevention starts with you.
There are online protection tools out there to control access to adult material and internet predators. Nothing is 100% but using this will help some. Another way to protect kids is to use ISPs. Internet service providers have control options to block unwanted material from loading onto the computer. Combining the efforts of both can make the child feel even safer. It is also important to monitor the child’s activities. One way is to use a program to check their activity. Another is to filter websites. Have the child make a screen mane instead of their real name to protect themselves.
The law and protection tools are still not enough. Parents have to take an active role to protect their children from foul language, predators and adult content. Make rules about their time on the internet. Make sure the children follow them. In addition to that add other rules. Some of them are not trading photographs in email and over the internet, keep personal information (name, location, phone number) to anyone and don’t meet anyone in person. That includes social networks and chat rooms. For all new friends made online insist of meeting this friend first. Don’t respond to threatening messages and emails. Children should not be afraid to talk to you. If anything is scary be a caring person and listen to what is said without jumping to conclusions.
Parents can do more than this to keep their children safe. Simple things like keeping Dell products in an active part of the house (not bedrooms), creating an email account together, bookmarking websites and spending time online together can go a long way. It’s best for parents to become knowledgeable about kid safety online. Take action if something is wrong. Protecting your children from online dangers is a job in itself but it is effective.