The world has significantly changed in the past few decades. The Internet is rapidly spreading all over the planet. As of 2017, 51% of world population is online. Electronic media such as mobile and computer are becoming more user-friendly. Due to this, Internet has a great exposure to all age groups. A study reveals children start using the Internet from the age of three.
The Internet is like a rose, which comes with sharp thrones. Cyberbullying, pornography, Identity theft, sexual predators, suicide games and violence in the Internet can harm your child in various ways – Psychologically, Physically, Academically, Socially. Here are the few things which you can do to ensure the safety of your child.
1. Use Parental Controls
Parental Controls have evolved with time. Modern Parental Controls come with four major features:
- Content filter
- Usage control
- Computer usage management tool
Basically, these are the four important things you need to keep your kids safe online. No Parental Control is absolute, that makes it a necessary but not sufficient tool. That’s why you need to adopt few other practices.
2. Placing Computer At The Right Place
Location of the computer is important. Keep the computer in such a place where it can be monitored easily when being used. It is advised to choose a central spot. Restrict the use of electronic devices such as laptops and tablets in bedrooms.
3. Feed The Necessary Information
It is understandable that you can’t sit next to your child all the time. Try to spend some time when your kid is browsing. Make them aware of few important things such as:
- Blocking features
- Reporting functions
- Keeping information private
- Visibility of shared texts, pictures and videos
- Usage of screenshots to share a conversation
4. Make Usage Timings
Making a fixed timing to use the Internet has many benefits. It helps your kid to focus on other aspects of life such as academics, social relations, outdoor games, etc. In the long run; it brings over-all development in the child. Moreover, with fixed online time, kids are less likely to have an online addiction.
5. Monitor Browsing History
Monitoring browsing history does not mean you have trust issues with your kids. With browsing history, you can know what your kids are interested in. With that, you can know what difficulties and problems they may face and plan ahead. It also helps to understand your kids and connect with them.
6. Be Friendly
You might be thinking how being friendly is related to keeping kids safe online. Well, it is the most important factor. Only if you are friendly and have acceptance, your kids will bring their problems or weird experiences on the Internet to your attention. Children usually keep things to themselves when the parents are strict. Always remember, damage is minimum when known early.
After knowing the negative impacts of the Internet on children, you might think of blanket ban on all devices. It is not a smart thing to do. Children usually learn how to use a computer in school and are exposed to various devices at their friend’s house. A blanket ban, will increase curiosity, and they might find another source to use them. It may end up causing more harm.