Internet Safety for Families
17 July 2012 Posted By Alex Lamman
The Internet is a very important part of every family’s lifestyle. Where else can you research school projects, shop 24/7 or chat with friends? But if it isn’t used properly, the Internet can also be dangerous. This post is for families to read together so they can develop an Internet safety plan.
Simple rules that every family should follow:
The first way to stay save is by keeping the computer in a common area instead of a child’s bedroom. When the computer screen can be seen by everyone it’s much easier to keep an eye on Internet use.
Before children use the computer, it’s a great idea to install parental controls and Internet security suites. These can be found through your service provider or you can purchase special blocking and security software.
Filters are a great first step for safety bur they can’t block out every danger. Make sure you are monitoring your family’s Internet usage. Get to know how your child is using the Internet. One way to learn this is to sit with your child at the computer. Have your child show you what he or she does online. Who knows, you may learn a thing or two in the process.
Important points that kids should follow:
First, never chat with people you don’t know. Since you can’t see the people you’re chatting with, they can pretend to be anybody they want. If someone tells you they are a nine-year-old boy, they can actually be a thirty five year old man. To keep safe, only chat with people you know.
When you are online, never give out personal details. Things like your name, where you live, your computer password and even the name of your school or sports team. For example, if you’ve shared the name of your soccer team and your number, a predator can use this information to find you.
These rules are also applied to all your family and friends. Don’t give out any information about anyone else before getting permission.
Digital photos should never be shared with strangers. You should never accept or open attachments from people you don’t know. If you open an attachment from the wrong person, it could destroy your computer files. Ask your parents to use antivirus software. Be sure to update it often. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And most importantly, you should never meet online friends in person since they may not be who they say they are.
There are many unsafe things that can happen on the Internet. So, there’s one overall rule children should always follow. Tell your parents or another trusted adult if at any time you fill uncomfortable with anything that happened. If someone sends you something that makes you feel uneasy, don’t reply. Tell your parents or a trusted adult so they can contact you online service provider or police.
If anything unsafe happens, you can report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This safety organization will ask questions about the event and refer you to people who can help.
We’ve covered a lot of information about Internet safety. To help you remember all these ideas post some easy to read house rules right near your computer. You can also develop a contract for family members to sign to insure that everyone is following Internet safety rules.
The Internet is a great source of valuable information. By following these simple tips, you can keep your family safe from harm.