Children and Internet Safety

Are your children being safe and secure when using the internet? Are they correctly avoiding spam, and not posting personal information? By implementing a few tips and tricks, you can feel comfortable when your child logs on to a computer or tablet.

Teach Them

Kids may not understand the risks associated with using the internet. Its up to you to make sure they are aware of the possibilities. This includes instructing them about speaking with strangers online and how they may try to take personal information, and how to detect spam, viruses, and other sneaky tactics that can pose a threat to the child or the network. Explain to them what the consequences could be if they do not pay attention to these items.

  • Have a username or nickname- do not admit personal information such as name, address, or age
  • Be careful when posting personal pictures
  • Do not interact with strangers
  • Be wary of spam emails and unsecured websites
  • Do not put anything online that can come back to bite you- assume that everything you put on the internet is permanent.
  • Don’t use the same password for everything

Set Restrictions

There are several ways to restrict the access your child has on your home computer. Windows operating system has controls to set time limits to determine when and for how long your child’s account can be logged in. It also incorporates blockers that will prevent your kid from accessing a specific list of websites, or restrict them to a specific set of websites. Your router has settings that can filter content between custom, low, moderate, and high- which blocks specific categories based on your preferences. There is third party software that can achieve the same goal, so find what works for you.

Check Yourself

Nearly everything done online can be traced back locally. You can check your child’s browsing history and see what they have been doing when you are not in the room. Some of the more tech-savvy or older kids may know about this, and clear their web browser, showing up nothing when looking into the history. A parent can work around this by using programs such as Microsoft Family Safety.