The internet is a great tool that can teach your kids many things, and help them learn about new and exciting things that are going on around the world. Kids these days literally have the world at their fingertips, and are able to learn faster and learn more than in the years before the internet existed. While the internet is a great tool, it also comes with a dark side.
The dark side of the internet is riddled with perverts, pornography, sexual dating sites, chat rooms, child predators and more. It is very important that you protect your kids from these internet dangers. It is estimated that on average the age at which kids first see pornographic material online is at age 11. 4 out of 5 Kids 16 yrs and older admit to looking at pornography on a regular basis.
Statistics show that in 82% of all online sex crimes against minors the offender used their social networking profiles to gain information about their likes and dislikes. The majority of victims of Internet-initiated sex crimes were between 13 to 15 years old. Every year 8 million kids go missing every year and at least 200 million girls and 100 million boys will be sexually victimized before they reach adulthood.
These are incredibly frightening facts, but the truth is that these dangers to exist and if we as parents don’t take appropriate steps to protect our kids, they could find themselves in a place or situation that they don’t want to be in.
5 Tips to Keeping Your Kids Safe Online
1. Determine and Implement Internet Use Rules
As parents we have to be involved in our Children’s internet activity. Aside from setting up internet usage rules, it is important that we look at the history and searches that our kids are doing online. This can be time consuming, but it will allow you to ensure that your kids are not being exploited or looking at things they shouldn’t be looking at.
Different rules that you can put in place can be time limits on internet usage. A list of “safe” websites that may be visited without permission, but for other websites permission must be gotten. Having a clear set of consequences should these rules be broken should also be clearly discussed and put into place.
2. Teach Your Kids to Protect Their Privacy
Nowadays with social networking being as popular as it is, it is very easy for kids to share all kinds of personal information, pictures, life events, upcoming plans, location, schools etc. The problem is that too many people has access to this information, and once this information is in the wrong hands, it can create a lot of problem.
It is important to teach your kids about the dangers of putting too much information online, and how it can actually work against them. The key here is not to scare your kids, but merely show them how important it is to keep much of this personal information to themselves.
3. Don’t Let your Kids Hide their Internet Activity
Let’s face it, kids for the most part these days know more about technology and the internet than we do. Many times it is very hard to keep track of what your kids are doing online, because they have become wise to hiding this information by deleting cookies and history, using proxy servers and different apps to conceal their online activity. This can often times lead to many kids being exposed to online dangers without the knowledge of their parents.
Thankfully there is a way to stop the ability for kids to hide their online activity by erasing their tracks. This method is through the use of Covenant Eyes Accountability Software. This software is installed on computers and handheld devices in the background and not only monitors but keeps track of everything that happens online regardless of the history or cookies being erased. This whole process is undetectable to your kids. It then creates full detailed reports of the online activity and lets you know of anything you need to be aware of.
4. Install an Internet Filter
One of the best ways to protect your kids from these online dangers, is to prevent them from being exposed right off the hop by blocking content of a specific nature. With the installation of a web filter, you have the ability to block out specific sites, category specific content and age specific content. I would recommend the use of Covenant Eyes Accountability Software which also doubles as a web filter.
Installing and implementing an online filter can really save you a lot of time and headaches by restricting websites, or only allowing your chosen websites to be seen by your kids. As your kids become older you can always re-adjust the filters. The great think about Covenant Eyes software is that it covers not only your computer but all of your handheld devices as well.
5. Talk Openly about Internet Dangers with your Kids
It is important that you take the time to talk to your kids about all of the online dangers and why its important that they don’t toy with them. Kids are curious, and often times a simple “You Can’t” will get them wondering why not. If you take the time to teach them why and give them all of the information and answers to their questions, they will be more aware of the dangers, and will likely think twice about getting into a situation they will regret.
Even though there are many dangers online, and they are becoming more prevalent and more in your face with the different software and technologies that we have at our fingertips, it is still possible to protect your kids online. All it takes is some elbow grease on your part, a bit of time spent learning about these new technologies and the patience to explain and discuss these things with your kids.