How to Protect Your Child When They Go Online: 8 Online Safety Tips

If it isn't already, the internet is going to play a major role in your child's education and development. Nearly every school in the U.S is using the internet as part of their education. The internet is a fun place and a seemingly bottomless resource for learning and self-development.

That said, your child needs some online safety tips because as much as the internet is full of potential for good it has the potential to harm your child. For example, according to some research, 25 percent of children have encountered unwanted pornography and more than half of teens have received messages from a stranger. 

Your child needs protection when they use the internet and it is your job to do that. If your not that tech-savvy, you may be wondering how. Read on for 8 excellent online safety tips. 

1. You Cannot Hide in the Open

One of the best safety measures you can put in place is to make sure the computer your child uses to surf the internet, is located in an open and common part of the house. This means in the living room or somewhere in the kitchen, or even in a commonly used corridor of the house. 

The important thing is that it is somewhere you can see and your children know they can be seen also. This will protect them and save them from the temptation to do or to look at anything they shouldn't. 

2. Filters Are Not Just for Coffee

Most browsers or even your internet provider will allow you to set up safeguard measures that will filter out any questionable content that you do not want your children exposed to. 

You can set general filters based on the age of your children or you can even block specific websites. You should be able to do this yourself. If you are struggling, get in touch with your internet provider, such as Xfinity (check out the xfinity internet plans here), and they will help you.

3. Children Love Boundaries

If you ask your children they may not directly agree with that statement. Be reassured though it is true. Your children will enjoy using the internet and accept your rules when the boundaries are clear and everyone is following them. 

Decide when you should let your children use the internet. That means what time of day and what days of the week. Keep in mind how long you think is a reasonable period of time for them to use the internet. 

Once you have made the rules stick to them. If your children think it is unreasonable, be prepared to discuss them. Keep in mind that the length of time on the computer may also affect their eyes. 

Using dark mode on your device may help take the strain off their eyes. You can find out how to use Gmail dark mode and reduce the glare from your screen. 

4. Never Talk To Strangers

This is a classic principle we were taught when we were young and it will help protect your children from becoming involved with strangers on the internet. The sad truth is that the internet is hunting ground for many trying to prey on young children. 

Follow this principle offline and online and it will save your children from potential harm. Ask them to inform you anytime someone tries to approach them or communicate with them in an unsolicited way. 

5. Teach Them Accountability

Everyone needs to learn about being accountable for their actions and this starts when we are young. Inform your children that for their protection and as part of learning to be accountable you will monitor their email messages and internet activity. 

Once you have told them this make sure you take the time to check on them. It is not "big brother" so to speak, it is the natural concern and care of loving parents. 

6. Be Surf Buddies

Using the internet does not have to isolate your child from you socially. Why not take the time to surf the internet together. You can help them with their research for school or homework. 

Make it a fun time and use it as an opportunity to learn how they think or feel about certain things on the internet. Such as the dangers of chatroom etc. 

7. Protect Personal Information

Make sure your child clearly understands they should never share personal information on the internet with anyone without your permission. That includes their telephone number and address. 

8. Keep Communication Open

Open and honest communication is vital if you are to reach your child and they are to accept what you are teaching them. Do not be quick to get angry and punish them if they make mistakes using the internet. Make sure they understand that your concerns are about protecting them. 

If your children understand that these measures are in place because you love them not because you are a killjoy, then they are more likely to accept them. From time to time discuss the internet as a family. Encourage your children to share their views. 

Happy Surfing With These Online Safety Tips 

In this article, you have read about 8 online safety tips. Follow these basic tips and you will protect your child from anything harmful. Plus you will have peace of mind that as a parent you are doing your best to care for your child's mental and emotional welfare.

You can read many other helpful articles on this site. For example, you will enjoy reading "Parenting in Digital Age: 10 Tips to Raise Your Post-Millennial Kids."

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