Tips for keeping kids safe online
Do you have children? If so, chances are they spend a fair amount of time online. At Johnson's Communications, user safety is extremely important to us, especially when it comes to our youngest Internet users. So we took the time to compile some tips and advice for ensuring your children stay safe while browsing the web.
Discuss Online Safety
Make the time to discuss online safety with your children – check out commonsensemedia.org for some great starting points. It’s important that children understand that there are dangers on the web and that not everybody they may ‘meet’ is honest or trustworthy.
Children should be reminded to never chat with strangers online and to avoid disclosing personal information, such as their name, address or phone number. It’s also important that kids understand what information should and should not be shared on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s advisable for parents to follow their child’s social media accounts so they can monitor these activities.
Also, help your child come up with secure passwords. A secure password uses a combination of letters and numbers. It should not be a ‘guessable’ word, such as a pet name. Work with your child to come up with effective security questions which can be used to confirm account ownership.
It’s also wise for parents keep tabs on their child’s passwords so they can perform spot checks if necessary as a part of web monitoring.
Keep Your Computers in a Visible Area
Keep your home’s computers in a visible, central area of your home, such as the kitchen or living room. Discourage computer use in the bedroom or other isolated areas where the child cannot be monitored. Children are less likely to intentionally view inappropriate content if they’re surrounded by family and it provides the parent with an opportunity to actively monitor their child’s online activities. Also, don’t hesitate to view the browsing history to see what sites your child has been viewing.
Install Security Software and Limit Access to Inappropriate Content
Take the time to install Internet security software and use the parental control settings on your devices and on your browsers. McAfee and Norton are examples of software programs that can be used to implement parental controls.
These parental controls not only limit the type of content that can be viewed online; they can also prevent specific actions such as downloads of potentially dangerous malware, viruses or other harmful material.
If you use a router or network, consult with your user’s manual or manufacturer to learn how to limit access or block inappropriate content on certain websites.
With these tips, you’ll learn how to keep your youngsters safe while surfing the web.