Don't get us wrong, the internet isn’t all bad. After all, the world wide web opens many doors for young people. Children can learn about different people, places and cultures form all over the world, teach themselves skills at the touch of a button and much more. However, it's also all too easy for children to lose their way on the internet. A simple search for your child's favorite fictional character can end up leading them to inappropriate content, sex offenders, cyber bullying or worse.
So how can parents protect their children online? There are different routes that parents can take to achieve online safety. The first is investing in suitable software. These days, there are plenty of parental blocks and anti-virus software on the market. This software prevents your children from entering harmful sites and what's more, there are also programs available that monitor how much time your children spend online each day. Although these additions to your browser are important and effective, online safety experts recommend combining them with other methods too.
First of all, computers that connect to the internet should always be located in living spaces such as the kitchen or the living room. That way, ignorance will never be bliss and you will constantly be able to keep an eye on your child's online activity. In addition, in order for parents to protect their children in the best way, they should constantly be engaging their children in open conversations involving the whole family about how to stay safe online. Helping them to understand the dangers they can come into contact with, will help them to follow your guidelines as opposed to resenting them. Of course, this conversation will differ depending on the age of your child but the message must remain clear: your safety must always come first. An example of this is helping your children to set strong passwords or creating a list together of exactly which apps are appropriate to download.
It's important to remember that parents can't always have total control over what their children see online. There will always be ways for the less appropriate aspects of the world wide web to find their way onto your children's screens. However, don't fret! If you guarantee you stay involved and updated on your child's online browsing and ensure there is a constant dialogue surrounding their online browsing, you can sleep easy at night knowing your child values their safety as much as you do.