When you are a parent, safety is a big issue when it comes to your family members and particularly your children. Keeping safe online is therefore a topic that is close to every parent’s heart, no matter what age their children are.
So whether you have little ones, middle sizes ones or verging-on-teenager sized ones, internet safety and your children is of paramount importance. But with such a massive virtual world out there, ready and waiting to ‘swallow up’ your children, how can you prepare them to look after themselves safely and confidently?
A great place to look is at the plethora of websites that have been set up by like-minded people to help you and your children navigate the maze that is the internet. Visit Quib.ly for child online safety tips and a host of other helpful information. This website has been set up specifically to aid mums, dads and carers to support their children online.
If your children and tweenies’ are at the stage where they are asking for their own computers, smartphones, tablets and games consoles then online safety needs to be the hot topic on the Family Agenda.
When you are all at home, they may be using their computer in amongst the family, so you are able to keep a watchful eye on what they are doing. However, if they spend time online in their bedrooms or maybe surf the net when they are at friends’ homes, then they need to know the basic safety rules and guidelines.
Once you have looked at sites like Quib.ly and grasped an understanding of what goes on via the internet, then you can start to assist your children so that they move from being internet novices to well-prepared surfers. After all, you helped your child to ride their first bike and this is really no different! It’s all about being prepared and ready to deal with any issues that may crop up. Consider installing a vpn for firefox or chrome on their laptop so that their identity is always protected. A VPN can also help to stop their laptop from getting hacked, which means all of their data remains secure.
The internet is a fantastic place so we should not be too pessimistic about it. Like most good things however it does have its negative side, and this is what you need to make your children aware of. We have all heard of terms like ‘cyber bullying’ and problems with sexually explicit, violent or other harmful material.
Forewarned is forearmed and this is where we as parents need to intervene. Make sure that whatever computer is being used that it is protected with anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Once you have started to make your children aware of the dangers they will very quickly learn what is hot and what is not. They can start to make their own decisions and you will be equipping them with the tools to protect themselves online.
You may have also heard horror stories in the media about children getting online and buying a car or something similar on EBay with dad’s money! This may sound ludicrous but don’t forget that many websites like Amazon and EBay can actually store your payment details. Buying online can be done as easily as 1-2-3 and click, the purchase is completed! Great if it is you doing the buying but ensure that you don’t leave websites open or unsecured with passwords revealed when little fingers are around!