Making the World Wide Web safe for studying children

Safe Internet browsing for children

Surfing the World Wide Web may have been a big no-no for your toddler – you didn’t want him scrolling through harmless Elmo videos on YouTube only to end up watching a violent clip! But now that your five-to-seven-year-old has reached the stage of homework and tests, it may be time to rethink your ban on the online world and see the good it has to offer.

The Internet is packed with information kids may need at their fingertips. The dictionary and thesaurus alone are worth the effort of logging on to the Net. Parents can take advantage of “wikis” or shared knowledge bases to enable their kids to probe deeper into school topics. They could maximize the Internet’s search engines to learn more about their kids’ passions and interests. What’s more, the Web employs different media – articles, images, sounds, videos, and educational games – making learning a fun and stimulating experience.

As many children are now using the Internet and visiting many websites around the world. As a parent, sometimes you can’t track the websites that your child visits which could be dangerous or not appropriate for their own viewing. However, you can suggest to your child the right things to do when he or she is online.

Here are some tips on how to keep the Internet a safe place for your child:

1) Do not click pop-ups

These may lead your child to inappropriate websites or advertisements.

2) Do not provide any personal information via e-mail, chat, or social media

Explain that this is how children have been kidnapped or harmed in the past. People who have bad intentions can easily use this information to trace your whereabouts. Tell your child to never discuss things that are too personal especially when it comes to family. Never post anything to insult anyone or when you’re mad at you siblings.

3) Do not chat with online strangers

Tell your child that if someone he does not know is trying to contact him, he must tell you right away. Kids may be led to believe that the person they are chatting with is the same age they are, but in reality, the person may be an adult who has evil designs.

4) Do run to Mom or Dad if anyone threatens you online

Cyberbullying must be stopped immediately. Nip it in the bud by blocking the person.

5) Do agree on a list of sites that are off-limits

Although you want to trust that your child will not visit these sites, be extra cautious by blocking the sites as well. Make sure your child understands that this rule still holds when he or she is using other people’s computers.

6) Do set a time limit

It is suggested that one hour for schoolwork and another hour for games or other fun kiddie websites is appropriate. It’s really up to you how long you want to allow your child to be on the Net. Just make sure he follows the rules you’ve set.

Your job as a parent is to make sure your little one learns what he can from the World Wide Web while keeping inappropriate sites at bay. The good news is it can be done. You just need to be extra vigilant. These are some of the tips that you can apply now in order to make the Internet safe for your children.