Stories of cyber creeps are plenty. Every now and then we come across incidents where questionable people have lured children in to divulging sensitive information to unknown people, of meeting perverts online and getting violated, the list could go on. As a parent, you are surely worried about the acquaintances your children make online. A nameless and faceless cyber world can pose serious threat to those who do not tread on its turf cautiously. If you are complacent, chances are that you will end up in trouble in the cyber world let alone the inexperienced teenagers or your ten year old!
Education is power! Tell your children why it is important to be cautious in the internet. Share with them stories and published guidelines on how to behave in the cyber world. Ask them never to divulge sensitive information like social security numbers, telephone numbers, contact address, etc. to unknown people.
Teach them. Teach them how to behave in the cyber world. Tell them what to do and what not to. Tell them how to talk and what to do in order to avoid unwanted attention. Ask them to follow internet etiquettes diligently; this could mean the difference between security and total violation of safety.
Guide them. Sit with them and guide them how to access internet; the messages and language that may lead to questionable situations. Show them the websites that they should stay away from and why. Help them understand the best way to enjoy internet without compromising security and peace of mind.
Prevent them. Often teaching and guidance may not go all the way. In such a situation, use prevention.
Bar the websites that you think may lead to unwanted situations. Most internet service providers give parental control options. Allow only certain websites and define the websites that you do not want your children to visit. Various anti-virus software also provide the option of blocking websites that may have adult content or are hosted in insecure web locations. Make full use of those features.
Give them internet time only for a specific period and during specific hours of the day. Do not let them access the internet all the time. Do not share the password for internet connection
Do not share passwords for areas in your computer that are protected for confidential reasons. Kids do not need to know that. In fact if need be prevent access to all those areas in your computer.
Observe them. Although no child would like their parents sneaking behind their backs, but initially it is a good idea to keep an eye on the websites that your children are regularly visiting. See if there is any website that you think may cause trouble. Discuss with them your concern. Children often understand if they are treated like adults.
Teach your children to enjoy the fruits of technological advances responsibly. As long as you are in a safe and secured environment, you will enjoy your online experience more. Treading on tough, murky areas is neither comfortable nor desirable.
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