How to

How to keep your children safer online

THE internet is also a dangerous place to hang out — particularly for children.

Cyber stalkers, child molesters, inappropriate content, cyber bullies and more are lurking, waiting for an opportunity to reach out to your children. Such an experience could possibly damage a child for the rest of their life.

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lPlace computers in a common area of the house

 

Don’t allow kids to have a computer in their room. You’d be surprised by how much the mere presence of a parent who may or may not be looking over a child’s shoulder, while they use the computer can keep a child in line. They have no way of knowing if your eyes actually are good enough to see across the room, now do they? Make sure the computer’s screen is visible from other parts of the room, and isn’t turned toward a wall.

*Learn more about computers and the internet*

 

While folks are now more knowledgeable about computers and mobile devices than ever, it never hurts to learn a bit more. Look for information from your internet service provider (ISP), online resources, or yes, the library. Don’t be embarrassed to pick up a “Dummies” book on the subject. (You can buy it on your Kindle or from iBooks. No one will ever be the wiser.)

 

lSpend time online with your kids

 

The family that surfs together . . . Well, I can’t think of a rhyme at the moment, but make browsing the web a family thing (just like watching television was for most of us when we were kids, lo those many years ago.) Hang out with your kids and help them with their homework online, searching for information together. But, make sure to put the Google search filter on “safe.”

 

lSet reasonable time and usage limits

 

Set rules about what your child can and can’t do when on the internet. Set time limits on their computer use. If they say they’re researching homework, maybe you don’t include that in the time limits. But make sure they’re actually using it for homework. (Hint: watching episodes of “Rick and Morty” is hardly ever a required element in homework assignments.)

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