As wonderful as it might be, the Internet can also be hazardous for kids.
Everything is safe until the searching browser is turned on. For example, a kid 7-year-old may search for “LEGO”, but accidentally insert “LEGS” into the search bar instead. This child may be directed to an amount of web pages with pornographic materials.
It is important to be aware of what your children see or hear on the Internet, as well as what they share about personal life online. It is wise to talk to kids beforehand about your concerns and take advantage of resources to protect their innocence.
1. The Law About Internet Safety
The federal published a law to protect kids younger than 13 years of age when participating on the Internet. It bans anyone from getting the child’s information without their parents’ consent, for example, his name, address, phone number or Social Security number. The Law also make sure no websites require children to provide more personal information than necessary when to play a game or join in a contest.
Even then, the best online protection for your kids is you. Talk to them about potential harms online can help them surfing more safely.
2. Tools for online protection
There are many tools available that help you control you kids’ access to adult sites, while protecting them from Internet predators. These tools, however, have gaps that can be used by bad guys, therefore, you still have to be aware of the kids’ activities on the Net.
Some Internet Service Providers provide parent-control options that can block determined materials. They also provide a list of bad websites for children and you can restrict access to configuration.
Filtering programs can also block sites from popping in and baiting your child to click on. Other programs, on the other hand, monitor and track online activities of the users so you can review them later. Also, make sure your child have an alias on the Net to prevent revealing their real identity.
3. Participate with the kids in their online activities
– Make sure you are computer literate and learn to block questionable materials
– Keep the computer in a common area where everyone can see the screen so adults can watch over and monitor the kids’ use. Also, be by your kids’ side anytime he or she holds a smartphone or a tablet.
– Share the email and social media account with your child so you can see the inbox.
– Bookmark the kids’ favorite sites so they can access easier without having to search
– Spend a lot of time to teach the children about what is considered bad online behaviors and that they should stay away from it and tell you
– Forbid private forums with ISPs or filtering software.
– Monitor your credit card or phone bills for unfamiliar account charges.
– Track the places where your kids can access to the Internet like the schools, after schools center, friends’ home and ask for online protection from the adults there
– Take it seriously if your child reports an uncomfortable experience.
– Disable cookies – the tracking services that saves information such as name, email, shopping preferences of the visitor.
Call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children if you are aware of the transmission, use or viewing of child pornography online. You can also contact the local law enforcement agency or even the FBI if someone sends your kids child pornography.