The world has gone online now, with easier access, additional advantages but at the same time, increased responsibility. The entry to this online world has more banes than boons, and we are all discovering it together. The use of the internet is necessary but the extensive repercussions cannot be avoided. Anything and everything is available on the internet, freeing the control of the usage of the internet. The Internet has evolved and has emerged a need to come up with a security plan, especially for children as the youngest preys of the predating internet.
The youngest generation of all children, all over the world has free will to use the internet as per convenience, increasing the stress of their parents. The reason behind the same would be internet safety. It is not new for parents to worry about what their children are being exposed to on the internet. The uses might be great but at the same time, the risk of exposing naïve minds to the hazards of the internet is high. This is where internet safety plays an important role. Why is it important for parents to safeguard the safety of their children?
Well, anecdotal evidence has proved how the internet can be dangerous. Yet, here are a few reasons:
- Long hours of sitting in front of the screen can cause eye damage, this would be the most basic concern of every parent.
- Growing cybercrime is no less of a threat when it comes to your children handling screens and working on the internet.
- 1 out of every 5 children is subject to sexual solicitation, which can be in any form via ads, websites, or even messages.
- Surprisingly a huge chunk percentage of the teen, have been prey to the internet predators in ways of emails and messages from strangers.
- Distraction and disturbance are other additional effects of the growing use of the internet amongst children.
- In case of an unknown download, the computer is exposed to the risk of software malfunction or entering of the virus.
- Phishing emails are another way of an internet scam, which can lead to exposing personal information exposing to unwanted personals.
- To add to the list, “unwanted sexual content” which can be visible via ads or posters appearing in the pop-ups of the internet, is another danger to the young and growing minds.
- But the list does not end here, social standards have been only increasing and kinder garden kids to teens are sucked into the black hole standards of the internet.
As said earlier, the list keeps growing, increasing the risk of internet use. But can you, as parents completely stop the use of the internet of your children? A straight answer is NO! Even as parents you won’t be able to stop the use of the internet of your children as you also require the internet. So, what can be done as parents to protect or safeguard your children on the internet?
Some of the steps that parents can opt for immediately are mentioned below:
- Setting time limits to internet usage – the internet is a big part of everyone’s life, parents need to have control over the usage of the internet of their children. Parents must set a time limit rule, for their children to come up with minimized and structured use of the internet. The time limitations can be set for the entire family in order to build a trusted relationship with your children. A timetable can be set up describing the time schedules of the internet usage.
- Supervision over internet activities of your children –The innocent minds are unaware of the bad side of the internet. As parents you can supervise what your kids are doing on the internet, this will help you understand what can be massive threats to your kids. A digital footprint can also be useful in this context, without invading the relationship of trust between you and your children. Eventually, with age would come the wisdom but till the tenderness of the naïve minds passes, supervision can be the best option.
- Placing the monitor in common areas – The issue of privacy is a later concern. The early age stage of kids requires guidance and supervision, even the matter of internet usage. To simplify the problem of supervision without enforcing privacy issues onto your children, there can be a solution. You can situate the monitor in the common area of the house, from where the monitor of the computer can be visible. This will make it easier for the parents to monitor the internet activities of their children.
- Learn the internet technology through and thorough – The technology is growing and it is growing fast. It can be difficult for parents to cope up with the ever-evolving technology. To do so, parents can learn internet with their children, which can be a good bonding activity between you and your children. This can also be a way to inform kids about the severity of not sharing personal information over the internet, as once it goes on the internet, the information cannot be taken down. Parents can also limit the website access on their monitors. Lastly, the installation of safeguard software’s to overview the internet activities.
- Talk to your children – Your children must feel trusted and respected even in the case of internet privacy. Without invading your children’s privacy, parents can inform their children about talking to strangers, clicking unseen or unwanted content emails. Some cases of cyberbullying have shown that the primary reason for the late report is the not-so-transparent relationship between parents and children. Talking to your children about the use of social media and why it should not affect their lives is important.
We can never understand how technology, the internet specifically, has become such an important part of our lives. Parents need to make sure that their children understand the real world and the fake world. Internet presents a world, which has a great impact on the minds and lifestyle of young minds. The guidance of parents and the bond that they develop with their children is the first step of safeguarding children’s safety over the internet.