Thursday, 23 May 2013

Top ten tips for internet safety with young children

Top ten tips for internet safety with young children
One of my biggest fears for my children growing up is their access to the internet and what lurks out there. I was listening to a radio news article and this particular news piece focused on some shocking new trends. The title was Rise in reports of children sexually abusing children, upon hearing the headline I was firstly shocked but secondly worried that my children are growing up in this world. Listening to the article it has been suggested that one reason for this rise is the shocking ease of which young children have access to pornography and shocking pornography. As if this wasn't bad enough children usually have access to two or three devices capable of showing these websites.

My knee jerk reaction was 'well the bloody parents should be more pro active in monitoring this activity'. I'm sure that in some cases the parents just are not doing a good enough job but in other cases this just isn't so. I guess for some people the internet is something for the youth, something technical, something scary.

I have put together my top ten tips for internet safety with young children
(This is aimed at children aged years 8-13)

1 Parental Controls basic but effective don't worry if you do not know how to do this a quick Google search should have your PC on a pornography lock down.

2 PC usage rules it would be a good idea to establish a some guidelines for use of the computer. This could include specific times that you allow access, time limits, whether it is monitored use etc. You take control and say this is our PC, use it by all means but play by our rules.

3 Invest in a family tablet this will allow your child to have access to a device that allows internet browsing but also allows you to monitor from a distance. This is good for the trust bond you will en-devour to establish to bring your child up internet savvy.

4 Avoid smart phones for young child as it is totally unnecessary for somebody so young to have something so connected to the internet. 
5 Familiarise yourself with your children's favorite websites, recognise your childs normal behavior whilst on the sites. Armed with this knowledge, then if something is wrong, you will be in a better position to notice.

6 Social Networks, depending on the child's age allow access but make it a rule from day one that access to this luxury is monitored. Make a rule that permission is required to go on the networks and when they are on, keep a regular eye on what page is open i.e if it is chat then ask who's that ? 
7 Talk about the internet and inform your youngster that sometimes things on the internet are not for children. The intention would be to grow a healthy respect for the internet not petrify them so go for a softly softly approach.
8 Learn with your child sit down with them and use the internet together. This will encourage them to use it properly and not stray on the the wrong websites and report things that might not be appropriate.

9 E-mail accounts its not uncommon for people to have lots of different accounts be aware what accounts are being used. This is where internet history on the family tablet comes in handy and knowing your child's favorite websites. Example; you know your child has an email account with Google however on the history you see Yahoo mail used a lot. This would indicate that other email accounts could be being used.

10 Have fun on the internet and don't just settle for the answer 'I'm just doing homework' make sure you find out for yourself whats happening. Your child may not be the one doing anything wrong but you just do not know who is sat at the other end of the key board.

This has been my top ten tips for internet safety with young children I hoped you have enjoyed reading.