The amount of resources and information the internet contains is astounding. With the help of online information, your child gains vast knowledge. Parents and children together can work to make the internet a positive experience. However, if left alone, your child can misuse this wonderful knowledge bank, and with no rules or regulations, teens can discover surreptitiously how to commit crimes, watch things they ought not to see, and chat with people of questionable character. Thus, a parent must take precautions to see that the child does not abuse the internet access.
Educate yourself about the net
It is very essential for you to know about computers and be familiar with World Wide Web. Nothing can be more intimidating than a child knowing more about computers and internet than their parents, and often this is what happens with today's parents who probably know very little about internet than their children. Thus, consider this aspect as to how you can know if something is amiss if you don't know or understand your child's online activities. Ask your child to show you what they know about the Internet and find out the sites they like to visit. Check out the contents of the site and ensure that it is appropriate for your kid.
Close monitoring and forbidden access
The location of your home computer may make a huge difference in the type of Web content your child reads and surfs. If possible, place your desktop computer in the living room or family room so that you can always monitor the internet access. This will restrict your teen to abuse the internet access, and if your teen knows at any given moment that someone may approach the computer while they are surfing the net, they will be more cautious and careful of their online activities.
Try to avoid allowing your child to have a computer with internet access in their room. However, if you feel strongly about your child having a computer with internet access in their bedroom, make sure they keep their door open while they are online so that you can monitor their online activities.
The next step is to set up rules and guidelines that your child must adhere to when surfing the net or engaging in online activities. Make it clear that they are not allowed to go into unmonitored or private chat rooms to chat with strangers. Secondly monitoring where your child has been on the internet. Restrict their amount of online "play" time.
In addition to monitoring programs, you must also install blocking or filtering software. Develop familiarity with these two types of programs. Blocking software generally blocks unwanted or restricted web sites from being accessed. Filtering software allows you to program prohibited keywords such as XXX, sex, adult, guns, bombs, and cults.
Standard Internet Safety
Another important thing that you need to teach your teen is standard internet safety. Such internet safety includes:
- Under no circumstance should your teen give anyone his or her name, address, or telephone number.
- Instruct your teen never to meet anyone in person whom they've met on the internet, UNLESS you can accompany them to this meeting. If you do agree to let your teen meet someone in person, make sure you get this person's name, address, telephone number, and any other important information.
- It's also a good idea to talk with the parents of the teen your child wants to meet and make sure the meeting takes place in a public place.
Internet abuse is a serious issue. Children may unknowingly commit the deed without realizing the consequences. It is the parent's duty to ensure that this does not happen.