Ensuring Internet Safety
The internet can be a wonderful resource for children. They can use it to research school reports, communicate with the teachers and other kids, and play interactive games. Children who are old enough to punch in a few letters on the keyboard can literally access the world. But that access can also pose hazards. That's why, it's important to be aware of what your children see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves online.
Here are some helpful tips you can use to help keep your child safe whenever and wherever they go online.
- Become computer-literate: Learn how to block objectionable material. Use parental control and filtering settings on the computer. Be sure your computer has an activated security suite: a firewall, anti-spyware software, and anti-virus software. Watch your credit card and phone bills for unusual charges. Use built-in parental controls on your web browser.
- Keep the computer in a common area: Keep it where you can watch and monitor your child. Avoid putting a computer in a child's bedroom.
- Share an email account with younger children: That way, you can monitor who is sending them messages. In case the child is older and has a personal email id, and if they receive an email that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened, inform your child from refraining to respond and to inform you right away.
- Teach your child about Internet safety: Discuss rules for your child to follow while they're using the Internet, such as never reveal personal information like name or age, including address, phone number, or school name or location. Also, instruct your child to never agree to meet someone he or she met online in person or share personal photographs with someone he or she does not know. Make sure your kid knows how to block and/or report a cyberbully.
- Bookmark your child's favourite sites: Your child will have easy access and be less likely to make a typo that could lead to inappropriate content.
- Monitor your child’s use of chat rooms: Be aware that posting messages to chat rooms reveals a child's email address to others. Let your child be aware that people may not be who they say they are.
- Find out about online protection elsewhere: Find out what, if any, online protection is offered at school, after-school centres, friends' homes, or any place where your child could use a computer without your supervision.