Is your computer a safe place for your child?

By: Janice Thompson

Internet has become a great place for accessing information, for communication and for entertainment. Most of the activities of people are done through online like banking, shopping, learning, teaching, communicating, etc., While, the benefits enjoyed are so many, there are also pitfalls in using the internet. The easy availability of adult content and images, the unwanted and sudden thrust of pornography on the screens compel us to think about cyber safety for kids.

Cyber safety for kids has opened up a new avenue for programmers to design and develop various parental control softwares and products in the market. Once installed, they have successfully blocked the unsafe content and images from your children and keep on reporting the parents about the attempts and blocks done periodically. Parents are the important people who should educate their children the importance of the safe usage of internet and safeguard them from non-safe content.

Kids internet safety is not only concerned about the adult and pornography materials but also about the knowledge of revealing personal information to strangers. Parents must be aware of this fact that there are chances for the websites to collect personal information from the kids before they are allowed to play games or participate in contests. Personal information such as name, address, phone number, social security number, etc., are easily obtained from kids in the pretext of contests and prize announcements.

To prevent this exploitation, online Privacy Protection Act for Children by the federal government has been enforced in the US. As per this law, websites that need to collect personal information from children, have to get permission from parents. However, parents are the main source of protection who can protect their children from internet predators and pornography. Kids internet safety depends on their parents only.

Parents must not only be familiar with the basic computer operations but also get familiar with the settings for the online tools meant for cyber safety for kids. Moreover, you as parents need to follow some practices very strictly in order to protect your children. Till they attain maturity, it is better not to allow them the internet facility when they are alone. Schedule your timings and spend your time online with your children so that you can teach them proper online behavior.

It will be easy for you to monitor the children if the computer is placed in the drawing room instead of the bedroom. Bookmark the websites that your children most often visit so that you can prevent them from searching. These activities will decrease unnecessary surfing and increase the cyber safety for kids.

Never take it lightly when your children say something about online happenings. Be aware of your children’s attitude when there is a sudden change, when they keep themselves aloof and when they try to close the monitor the moment you enter the room. It is time to check their online activities, find out the culprits and take proper action. Check your installed Kids internet safety tools and chat with them if necessary. Inform the officials immediately so that people who indulge in such activities can be punished and cyber safety for kids can be ensured.

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