I remember how my parents always told me not to talk to strangers. In our today’s reality, this rule is, unfortunately, not enough to make sure your children stay safe. The threats of the real world collide with those of the online. As a parent, your goal is to shield your kids from them as well. There are many types of content that can be harmful to your children. The biggest problem is that you can’t be sure what online resources can present toxic content and you can’t control every step your kids make.
Have an honest conversation
Before you start taking some real actions to secure your kids from the online threats, you should talk to them. Find out what websites they visit and their usual activity. It is important for you to know if they register and leave any personal information. You can visit those sites yourself to make sure there is nothing alarming there. Have these conversations on a regular basis to convince your children that you can always help them and answer their questions. It should not be a parent talking to a child but a friendly dialog between two equals.
Establish basic rules
Your children should have a clear understanding of what they can and can’t do online. It is essential for you to explain that there are many risks they can face. Some of their actions can lead to unpleasant consequences every member of your family will suffer from. For example, tell them under no circumstances should they provide personal information.
Suggest placing a computer in a common area
When it is in a living room, your children are not isolated. You will easily see which online resources they visit and have a conversation with them if necessary. This tip does not apply to the teenagers as they value their privacy and you should give them some space.
Rely on the internet monitoring software
It will block the sites with inappropriate information and your children would not see something they are not supposed to (at least at this age). It is not always convenient as this software may block the websites that are not harmful. To give your kids an access to those resources, there is an option of “whitelisting” the websites. Use the manual settings.
Do not let them download anything without asking you first
Some of the most threatening internet viruses hide in the most unexpected places. Talk to your children and explain this to them. They should always ask your permission to download a software, a game, etc. Creating a unique account for your kids with limited permissions can help you take the situation under control.
Do not let your kids send the pictures of themselves without your permission
It is OK in case of close friends and relatives but you never know in what way other people can use those photos. Your children should know that there are different people in this world and not all of them have good intentions. Be honest with them and answer their questions to have bonding time with them.