The internet has its own pros and cons just as everything else does. The internet is an amazing invention that has solved many issues and has even provided a means of earning their bread and butter to many. Having said that, the downsides of the internet are just as numerous and dangerous as its perks are helpful and advantageous.
Children, especially, are vulnerable to falling prey to the dark side of the internet. Read on to know more about how you, as parents, can teach your kids internet safety rules so that you can protect them from the bane of the online world.
Encourage your kid to only comment on the internet things that they can easily say in person. Many people, generally referred to as ‘internet trolls’, start up a huge virtual war on social media, but are actually quite in the real world.
Instilling this safety rule in your kid/s will go a long way in shaping their personality, and will eventually result in them becoming productive contributors on the internet. They will neither resort to cyberbullying nor will encourage it if you make them understand its concept at an early age.
Teach your kid/s to never accept any friend requests from people they don’t personally know. This is important until your kid is mature enough to fend for themselves. Until then, make it a norm to discourage doubtful internet interactions on both public social platforms as well as private chats.
Also, make known to them the risks associated with meeting a person that they only know in the virtual world, face-to-face. Once your child realizes the harm that may befall them and their family due to their ignorance, they will themselves refrain from doing anything of the sort without your knowledge.
Downloading and uploading content:
Never encourage your child to upload pictures of them or their friends and family on social media sites without your consent. The same goes for downloading content too. Ask your kids to seek your help if they find anything on the internet that may be disturbing to them. Have your kids’ back at all times so that if any grave situation occurs, the first person they think of going to help is you.
Keep private information private:
Make your kid understand that certain things are not meant to be disclosed to the world via the internet. Things like your home address, telephone number, passport details, whereabouts and birth dates must not be made public information. You never know who may end up misusing these crucially important personal details of yourself and your family. The quicker and well your kid understands it, the better. Social media is a good place, but it can get worse if your private information leaks out there. Make your kid understand this in the friendliest of ways.
Keep an eye out for your kid:
Monitor your kids’ online activities. In case they use the common computer or laptop, make sure to go through their search history to check if the sites they are surfing are safe. Remember that checking your kids’ online history is acceptable only if your kid is still quite young, and not if they have crossed their teenage years.
Keep your computer in the living room only. In addition to that, don’t buy them a personal smartphone or even a cell phone till they are old enough to figure out how to use one responsibly. Limit their online activities to only playing online games or watching informative or funny videos. Anything more than that must immediately be called out by you.
Summing it up:
The above-mentioned safety rules are not the be- all and end -all when it comes to protecting your kid from the downsides of the internet. There are numerous other measures that you can undertake in accordance with the behaviour of your child and find alternative ways that work with them.
Remember to not push your child too much or invade his/her privacy lest they start hiding their issues form you. Establish a relationship based on trust and security with your kid. Learn ways to discipline your kids without being too hard on them.That way, they will always choose to come up to you if anything goes out of hands, and you will never have to worry about internet’s bane ever getting in the way of your child’s development.