The means of communication between people have changed significantly in recent years. This trend primarily affects the children. A 4-year old kid using a computer with Internet access is not a big surprise these days.
By the age of ten, children already have accounts on various social media web-sites and services, while a personal smartphone is practically their only link to the outside world.
A mere five years ago children, whose education was neglected by their parents, were receiving most of the information from TV, which was quite a problem to begin with. Now, however, things have drastically changed and it is the Internet that shapes the minds of our children, while parents bear full responsibility for controlling this process.
It’s quite obvious that to forbid things is the worst possible way of influencing the behavior of a child. Technically, parents can ban their kid from using a mobile phone, social media or anything else, but this will only result in him or her doing the same behind their backs.
Limiting time the kid uses the home computer turns out to be just as useless, since there are dozens of different devices allowing you to go online.
Nowadays, smartphones and tablets are becoming more popular than desktop computers.
Also, remember about all sorts of crooks, trolls and psychopaths you can meet online, which can be dangerous not only mentally, but also physically.
Even though personal safety rules in regard to the Internet haven’t changes a lot in recent years, the necessity of strictly adhering to them becomes more and more obvious.
Never give anyone your personal information. Once it appears online, it stays there forever whether you want it or not. For some reasons home addresses and places of study are compromised most frequently. This is large the cause of improper privacy settings in social media accounts, as well as photos and videos that make it easy to recognize the surroundings. Besides, modern phones by default geotag every snapshot, thus revealing coordinates of the place where it has been taken.
You have to explain to your child that everything he or she writes online can be read not only be the recipient. Sometimes it might happen it can be read by any other person as well, therefore it’s better not to write things you wouldn’t say publicly. This also means that words told to a person in real life are less dangerous than the same words written online.
Explanations and agreements are good things, but you have to remember that children might break an agreement unintentionally. Therefore, turning on adequate computer settings will be a reasonable solution. Stripping a child off the administrator permission will help protect your computer from many virus attacks, while installing a parental control system will safeguard your kid from abuse. There are similar software solutions for smartphones and tablets.
For example, Personal Monitor is capable of sending instant email alerts to parents if one of the stop words or stop phrases has been used by the child on social media. This can be a part of the home address, a search query not appropriate for the kid’s age or some rude expression. Sounds nice, right?
Children in the process of growing up often tend to be unreasonably cruel to others. Unfortunately, bullying the schoolmates or younger kids is often a
popular way to spend free time among the teenagers.
And if in the past bullying stayed within the school, Internet made it possible to do this literally at any time during day. There are even instances of suicide among the teenagers caused by online bullying.
As already mention above, adequate monitoring of online activities might help the parents to prevent or put an end to the abuse of their kids. Or, possibly, stop their kids from harassing other children.
Helping your children is the best way of safeguarding them from the dangers of the Internet. Do your best to explain what dangers can be encountered as well as the basics of online privacy and online etiquette. Keep explaining this until your child will know this better than yourself.