Internet is a large treasure trove of knowledge and information. Besides this, it also provides entertainment and is a powerful means to connect, communicate and promote one’s ideas or products. As children spend a considerable amount of time on the internet for playing games, chatting with their friends on social media or surfing the World Wide Web for information, parents have the duty and responsibility to monitor the online activities and help them remain safe online.
Parents need to know the possible risks associated with the web, email, gaming sites, social networking sites and chat rooms that are quite popular among children. The knowledge of the safety risks along with using suitable technology to safeguard the children from those risks will go a long way to ensure the safety of children online. Parents must teach their children how to manage their online behavior, how to be careful while making new friends or disclosing their personal information and what are the potential risks associated with posting videos and photos online.
This will help them get motivated for safe and productive use of the internet and mobile phones. Thus, with a little care, knowledge, teaching, supervision, and control, they can keep their kids safe online as well as offline.
Here is a checklist of some highly-effective tips to ensure the safety of children online:-
1. Build Trust and Establish Limits with Your Kids
As a parent, you should not be too critical of the browsing habits of your child. Build trust and teach your children about the rules of web browsing that they need to follow literally. Following those rules is beneficial for their safety and helps them establish their identity as an obedient child.
2. Contact Your ISP and Install the Best Security Option
Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer suitable safety filters or parental control options that make pornographic sites or sites with inappropriate content simply inaccessible to your child/children. You need to discuss it with your ISP and install the best security software or parental control system.
3. Teach Your Children about Potential Risks in Gaming, Posting Videos and Browsing
Knowledge or awareness of the security risks associated with gaming, browsing, uploading photos or content, social media usage and messaging or group chatting is very important. You must teach children about the same such that they can follow suitable precautionary measures.
4. Check out the Rating System of Online Games to Decide Appropriate Games
Reviews or ratings of online games provide a fair idea about the suitability of the game that you may allow for your children to play and enjoy. Besides this, you need to learn what kind of parental control can be used for supervision of online gaming of your child.
5. Teach Your Child to Use the Internet Wisely and Productively
Parents should surf the World Wide Web together with their children. They should teach children to assess the suitability and veracity of online resources before using the same. Besides this, they should be taught to remain careful and use strong user’s name and password that would help them never reveal their personal information and thus safeguard them from hacking or identity theft. Your child should know that in case of getting scared or feeling uncomfortable while web browsing or any online activity they should log off from the system and tell a trusted adult about the same.
6. Accentuate the Positive and Reinforce Smart Behavior through Rewards
Regardless of the negativity bias and the negative content on the internet, the positive aspects of the benefits of the internet outweigh the former. Hence, with responsible parenting, love and providing an immediate reward for using the internet wisely, you can reinforce this behavior and make it as a good habit in your children. Take time to monitor your child’s online activities for a few days and use suitable parental controls for the best result.
7. Report to the Police about the Illegal Online Material
If you see any illegal material on the internet you should report it to the cyber cell of the police. Besides this, you should let your children know that what is illegal offline is illegal online as well. Hence, they should never try to post sexually explicit photos or videos and stay away from any pornographic site or material in which children below 18 years are prohibited to browse the site.