As the world of technology advances, the days when playing outside until dusk and chatting for hours on the phone with your friends are long gone. Today’s children have so many other options that you would be hard pressed to find a child over five that doesn’t have their own computer or even a smartphone. Today, everything from homework to interacting with their friends is done either on a computer, a tablet, or a cell phone.
Being able to navigate a device with the Internet is as natural as breathing to most kids by the time they are three years old when they learn to use a Leap Pad or mommy and daddy’s mobile phone. Of course, with all of this technology comes the capability for predators to lure children. In today’s world setting, the parental controls for your Direct TV Internet packages aren’t enough to keep your children safe from the online predators of the world. Though Direct TV does everything to help make it so, they can’t do it alone.
Read on below for some tips to help you keep your child safe while they are surfing online.
Know Your Way Around the Internet
It is important for you to be educated in the digital world if you want to be able to educate your kids. Spend some time learning your way around so that you can teach your own children how to be safe. Remember, the Internet gives you the option to talk to anyone in the world at any time of day or night, and your children should know who to avoid.
Establish Rules and Stick to Them
Whether your child is six or 16, there have to be safety rules for using devices that are connected to the Internet. Of course, when they are 16, the rules you have are less defined. Teach your child from the beginning what online behavior is acceptable, what files they can open and which ones need your permission first. With younger children, this can become confusing, so instead it might be best to only let them open files with you there. Establishing rules for what sites a child can go to and when they can use the computer is very important to keeping them safe.
Install Surveillance Software
The need for surveillance software on laptops and mobile devices is being debated heavily by parents everywhere at the moment. Many feel that practices like mirroring phones and other software surveillance apps are an invasion of privacy. Others feel that keeping tabs on their children’s Internet practices without them knowing it is a good way to not only keep up with what they do but keep them safe as well. It is best to err on the side of caution and have one of these apps installed on your child’s Internet-enabled device. While you can monitor your child’s online activity, things can be erased if a kid knows how.
Talk to Your Child About Sexual Predators
One of the most important things to do when your child starts using the Internet is to sit down and talk to them about sexual predators. Make sure that your child knows they can come talk to you about anyone who contacts them without fear of getting into trouble.
These are just a few tips to help you protect your child when they reach the age where the Internet becomes a second home. It is normal to worry, however you can take the right steps to protect your child by teaching them that virtual safety is just as important as real life safety in your home.