Without a doubt, Internet has a whole universe of entertainment for children to explore online. There, they can play, learn, create, and connect. Especially that, connect with other people. There’s where the hazard starts.
Are you really aware of all the danger your kids are exposed to when they’re online? Often, we hear and read about cases of children talking to strangers online, and how those strangers turned out to be way different (and older) than what your children expected. It is important that us, as adults, guide our kids to understand all the dangers and how vulnerable they are when navigating on the net on their own.
Here you’ll find a few topics you should consider before leaving your kids go online by themselves:
1.- Before letting them use the Internet on their own, sit along with them and go through a few sites you can both agree on visiting. This not only will serve you as a way of supervising what they’re visiting, but also, will help them understand the type of sites they’re allowed to go through.
2.- Talk to your kids about the risks of giving out private information. Posting phone numbers, addresses and family pictures is a way of showing too much exposure, which can easily lead to grooming, and even kidnapping.
3.- Use a software or an app that can block sites that are not suitable for kids (parental control), so in case they land in one of those by mistake, they won’t be able to see any kind of information.
4.- Speak openly about your opinions on the site. Praise it when you feel it’s appropriate for kids to see it, and communicate when you see things that are a bit too offensive or explicit for their age.
5.- Make them understand that it isn’t easy to truly identify somebody online, and that’s why they shouldn’t share personal information such as birthdates, full names, addresses, and phone numbers. Also, tell them what kind of pictures are appropriate for them to post, as well as making them understand that some photographs can give the wrong impression to the wrong people.
Following these recommendations we can keep our children safe from all the danger Internet holds, keeping in mind that, even when it’s a great tool for many uses, it is also a great risk for many other.