These days, an astonishing 93% of teenagers and adolescents use the Internet. And as a parent, it can be scary to imagine what your child could be doing during their time on the web. When statistics show that one in five children will receive a sexual solicitation on the Internet and about 68% of teens today consider cyberbullying to be a “serious problem” for people their age.
And while your concerns are completely valid, it’s also surprisingly easy to protect your kids online and ensure they’re looking at parts of the Internet that are age-appropriate.
Here are some of our favorite Internet safety tips for parents so you can help protect your children online:
Limit their time in front of the computer.
Spending too much time on the computer is never good, especially for kids who should be going outside or spending time with their friends. A great way to ensure your child isn’t viewing harmful content on the Internet is to simply limit the amount of time he or she can go on the computer. A half-hour a day of computer time after school is a great time limit to start with!
Keep the household computer in an open area.
Rather than allowing your child to lock him or herself up in a computer room, place the family computer in an open area such as the living room, where you can monitor Internet activity with just a glance over their shoulder from across the room. This allows you to view what your child is doing without needing to skim through your computer’s Internet history, an often tedious task.
Limit social media access.
Social media sites can be hotbeds for cyberbullying, as they’re the best conduits for gossip, bullying and other social behaviors that can harm your kids — and cause them to harm others. To protect kids on social media, limit the amount of access they have to sites like Facebook and Twitter by getting software and social media monitoring tools for parents.
Communicate with your kids.
Communication and education between parents and their kids is essential for both a healthy relationship and for both parties to better understand the workings of the world wide web better. You should play an active role in your child’s online life and educate him or her about why it’s important to keep personal information private on the Internet.
What are some other good Internet safety tips for parents you have used? Share with us by leaving a comment.