Are your kids old enough to be surfing the internet on their own? Are you sure? What precautions are you taking to protect them from internet predators?
These questions are a lot to think about, but it can be important. We've all heard stories in the news over the past few years, or even months, of young kids or teens being tricked by internet predators. Fortunately, there are some very simple precautions you can take.
Number one is simply to monitor your children's usage. I don't mean stare over their shoulders the entire time. However, many families have computers in their children's room or other places where the computer can be used unsupervised. You may want to consider placing the computer in a more public area of your house. Yes, your children may complain, but it's their safety you're worried about. Don't supervise them to the point they feel harassed, but do keep a general idea on how the computer is being used and who they're chatting and emailing with, as well as what sites they visit.
The FTC has tips to help you protect your kids online. Talk to your kids about what they should and should not share online, cyberbullings, computer viruses and so forth.
Of course, more and more ISPs are starting to offer parental controls to help you protect your kids, but you should do your research and make sure your ISP is doing enough for your peace of mind. It really comes down to how closely you can monitor your children when they are online. The internet is a wealth of information as well as misinformation, so research your options carefully and be realistic.
Do your children know how to be safe?
It's very important to talk to your children about safety, especially in situations where they might encounter people they don't know.
Most parents won't have to deal with this one, but my family did, so I decided to share our experience.
Playing It Safe: Part 2 - Protective Playground Surfaces - Which Option is Right for You?
One of the best ways to protect children in your backyard playground is to have an appropriate play surface. Get the information you need to make an educated decision.
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