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Internet safety for kids is so important for parents to know. Protecting our kids online takes ingenuity - regardless of age. Whether you have a 3 year old who only wants to play sing-a-longs online or if you have a17 year old who thinks you are overprotective about Facebook, you need to know how to defend them.
As the internet constantly evolves, our defenses have to keep up and stay one step ahead of online predators.
The list of online predators is not a small one - hackers, phishers, internet pedophiles, cyber bullies… and the list continues. Knowing the different predators makes us better prepared to handle their attacks...
...and their attacks are THE reason why internet safety for kids is important.
There are a couple ways I'd recommend. First, and probably easiest, make sure you have:
These are designed to help you control what comes in and out of your computer - pornography, profanity, all that trash.
But before you buy, read their online reviews. Make sure you get something of value... not just another program to slow down your computer. A great place to find high-quality monitoring software is at Family Safety and Security. Worth a look.
Also, some internet browsers have free safety controls built in. But generally you get what you pay for. It's worth the extra expense to get a quality filtering program.
Even the most careful teen can slip up.It is important to protect your kids (and yourself) from ID thieves with services that are designed to help safeguard your personal identity. ID protection programs can be huge helps in protecting our selves and our kids.
Software and services are half the battle when it comes to internet safety for kids. The other half is we have to take action - even with safety software installed. Why? Predators are constantly playing on the "offense" team.
From the moment they learn to “click”, teach them the facts about internet safety. Start early. That way they should have a good grip on safety by the time they reach their teenage years.
And of course if your child is already a teenager, start NOW. Better late than never!
Yes. But first, you have to help them understand why internet safety for kids is so important. If they don’t catch the beauty of prevention, rules look like just another way for you to control them. Remember the old adage - "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".
After you set the stage, then it is time to take the following steps:
Spend some time with the family to make these rules. Let the kids help. When the kids are involved, they get pretty good at monitoring each other. Then be consistent with your family rules and the chances of keeping your child safe online will be stronger.
And last, I plead that you will...
That can be the hardest part, but it is SO important!
Most teens don’t go to their parents because they are afraid of losing privileges. Kids need to know that they can come to you without getting punished for it every time they slip. Sometimes punishment is appropriate, but be kind in your discipline. Growing up isn't easy. Teens are in a whirlwind of a phase, and they need you whether they know it or not.
You are on their side, even when they break the rules. So when they come to you, work with it. Don't punish good behavior - reward it!
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