The internet is perhaps one of the most useful technological innovations in the 21st Century. The internet can be a wonderful resource for information especially for children. Young children can use the internet for their school work, to communicate with teachers and fellow children and play interactive educational games. Kids who are old enough and trained can have access to worldly information.
However, the internet can also pose serious hazards especially to younger children since they tend to search random things on the internet. One wrong keystroke can bring them to websites not suited for kids. Older children, on the other hand, may search for pornography or adult-related stuff out of curiosity. Therefore, it is important that you keep the importance of parental supervision online in mind.
That is the reason why it is important that parents are aware of what their children access on the Internet, who they meet and what they share about themselves. As with any safety issues, it is recommended that you take the time to talk with children about the perils of spending too much time on the internet. You need to keep a close eye on their online activities and take advantage of different resources to protect them.
Internet Security Laws
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA is a federal law designed to help protect children online. The said law was created to keep anyone from gaining access to a child’s private information without the parent’s consent. COPPA requires websites to explain clearly their privacy policies, and they need to get the parent’s consent before they collect a children’s personal information but not limited to their name, address, phone address, etc. The law also prohibits any website to ask more personal information than needed for the child to participate in a contest or play a game online.
Online Protection Tools
As a parent, you can use various online tools to control your children’s access to adult content and help protect them from Internet child predators. However, these tools do not provide full protection against unwanted online activities. Therefore, it is recommended that you need to be aware of your children’s online activities and educate them about the different risks involved when on the internet.
Most internet service providers or ISPs nowadays, provide parental control options to block specific materials coming into a computer. There are also internet security programs that you can use to block certain websites. These programs can filter unwanted information from coming in and can also block personal information from being sent online. There are also internet security programs that can monitor and track Internet activities on a computer.
To effectively control your children’s activity on the internet, you need to set up some guidelines for your children to follow while they’re on the internet. First, you need to make sure they follow the rules you set and the rules set by the Internet service provider. Tell your children never to reveal any personal information such as address, phone number, and their school’s location. As much as possible, have them use a screen name. If they ever receive a threatening or malicious email, tell them never to respond. Always remind them they need to inform you in case of a threatening conversation online. If your child met a friend online, make sure that you get to know that new friend as well.
One cannot simply underestimate the importance of parental supervision online especially with the increasing number of child predators lurking on the internet. No one can best protect your child but you. As a parent, you need to be vigilant, do your part and set as an example to your child.