Today’s kids are growing up in a world where the Web is part of their everyday lives, social networking sites have always existed and buying music online is as common as browsing record stores once was for their parents. But the more your kids explore online, the more they are at risk from predators and the more they put your PC and privacy at risk.
To help ensure kids’ Internet safety, parents need to know how to educate their children about staying safe online and manage their kids’ Internet experiences. And although the task may sound challenging, there are some websites that offer some simple solutions or tips that every family can use to help make their kids’ online experiences safe ones.
- Share the Web with your kids – and use this time to talk about appropriate online behavior.
- Teach your kids to trust their instincts – and tell you if they feel nervous about anything online.
- If your kids use instant messaging, visit chat rooms or play online video games that require a login name, help them choose a name that doesn’t reveal any personal information.
- Explain to your kids that part of staying safe online includes keeping their “real world” information private – so they should never give out their address, phone number, or personal details, including where they go to school or like to play.
- Tell your kids that they should never meet online friends in person – people aren’t always who they say they are.
- Explain that making illegal copies of other people’s work, such as music, video games, etc., is just like stealing it from a store.
- Teach your kids that not everything they read or see online is true. Encourage them to ask you if they’re not sure.
Webroots suggests that besides talking with your children about internet usage, one of the most critical components of keeping kids safe online is managing their Web-based activities. Using a security solution such as Webroot Internet Security Complete might be helpful and provide protection from questionable Websites by providing users with a security rating next to each search result as well as a warning if users attempt to visit a malicious site. It’s a good idea to partner with your kids to help them develop good online habits. Once those habits are truly owned by your kids, you can give them more and more freedom to explore and enjoy the wealth of great information the Web has to offer.