The power of the Internet can be a wonderful tool, but it also makes it very easy for unscrupulous people to get access to your children without your knowledge. Children surfing online unprotected is also a good way to have problems with viruses and spyware on your PC.
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to keep your children safe and protected online, and your PC secure. Some of them involve buying software, but others involve safe online practices. You will want to go over these carefully with your children.
Below are 9 of the best ways.
#1 Buy an Internet Security Suite
You should be using a top quality Internet security platform on your computer, such as Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security. Using these products will keep your children and your PC safe from most computer viruses, Trojan horses, phishing attacks, sexual predators and other types of questionable online threats.
#2 Do Not Click Links
It is especially risky to click ad links on websites and in email. If you or your child EVER get an email from someone you do not know, you should never click to open it.
#3 Use Good Passwords
All accounts and devices should have effective passwords. Two of the most important ones are for email and social networks. If a hacker takes over your email or social network, he will be able to scam your friends. Also, the hacker can then reset your passwords on other accounts you own.
#4 Check Their Online Activity Regularly
It is easy to check the browser history of your or your child’s PC. Keep an eye on the type of websites he is going to on a regular basis.
#5 Set a Code of Conduct Online
Keeping your children safe online means that you will need to set firm guidelines about content, language and behavior online. You should be careful to direct your child to good websites, but also make sure he understands the value of the good sites, so that he will learn to go to the good ones on his own.
#6 Make Sure They (and You) Know Who They Are Talking To
It is hard to know for sure who your child is chatting with on the other side of that text conversation online. He might think it is a kid like him, but it could be an adult posing as a child. There are many sexual predators out there who will always want to catch an innocent child up in something illegal. Your children should also know to not give out personal information online to those they do not know, such as their full name, address and phone number.
#7 Be Aware of Online Bullying
The days of bullying being just at school and on the playground are gone. With social media profiles, Web chat and email, it is very easy for cyberbullying to take place and to make a child’s life hell. Some children have committed suicide over cyberbullying. Your child should let you know right away if she is being bullied online.
#8 Teach Your Child What to Share and What Not To
There are all sorts of ways for children to interact today: smart phones, tablets, PCs, social media, video chat and much more. This great amount of connectivity means that sometimes children share things they should not. One of these is illicit pictures of themselves. Another is sex-related verbal content. If your kid has a phone or is able to be online, he should know what is thought to be illegal online. They also should be taught to report any questionable chats or images they receive.
#9 Beware of Online Gaming
Multiplayer games have proliferated as online connection speeds have increased. Children can play video games against their friends online, anywhere in the world. Most of these sites let people IM each other and to talk through headsets. Your child may be interacting with an adult on these games and not be aware of it. You should keep a close eye on just who your child is talking to on the other side of the country or world.