The number of threats towards children have changed over time. The internet is a main focus of child predators as they can mask themselves as younger individuals. Even the most intelligent children can be lured into a conversation that can turn ugly quickly. Most predators threaten children that they will tell their parents unless the child does what the predator wants. Predators differ in motivations with some looking to benefit financially. There have been cases where predators have told children to read off their parent’s credit card number. Teaching internet safety starts at home by being proactive and keeping an eye on your children’s internet activity. The following are tips to help your children stay safe at home and some preventative actions that can be taken.
Computer Should be Kept in Common Areas
Keeping the computer in common areas of the home for children under 12 is wise. A child is not going to go on websites that could get them in trouble with the entire family around. This might seem like something simple but its impact will be immense. Young children should focus on sleep so do not allow them to take a laptop to bed.
Blocking Certain Websites is Important
Blocking certain websites should be done when you have younger children. There is simply too much on the internet that is not suitable for children’s eyes. Blocking websites like chatrooms can reduce the danger that your children are exposed to online. There are ways around these filters for those tech-savvy children so check the history of the browser regularly.
Tell Your Children You Want to Know What They Are Doing Online
The issue that many children have when they encounter a predator online is they are afraid to get into trouble. For the safety of your entire family, you need to tell your children to be honest with you. Let them know they will not get into trouble as everyone makes mistakes. An open dialogue can allow you to gather information on your children’s activities. Teenagers can be told in a very honest way about the dangers of meeting a stranger physically that they have just communicated with online.
Another helpful way to avoid the risks of online opportunities is opting to give your child a kids phone rather than a traditional smartphone. Companies such as Gabb Wireless have developed phones specifically for the use of kids by allowing them to have certain freedoms that are found with a smartphone without the fear of online dangers.
Monitor Online Gaming
You should monitor your children’s online gaming to ensure they are not a target of a predator. You shouldn’t discount online gaming friends though as many people develop close relationships. Gaming isn’t watched by many parents but this is an avenue that predators use to gain the trust of children and teens. Kids understand when an adult is playing a kid’s game that something might be wrong. Keep an eye or sit around your children while they are gaming so you can hear if anything seems out of place. Limit those children in preschool playing online as language used can be far too vulgar.
Take time in the near future to explain to your children about all of the dangers they could encounter online. You will never regret discussing this with them as this simple conversation can make your entire family more aware of online dangers.