Ways Parents Can Supervise Children’s Use of the Internet
Today, adults and children are exposed to a world of information that is only a click away via the Internet. Literally anything can be found on the online. Much of it is very very good and assists adults and children with their daily tasks be it work, social interaction, entertainment, or home work.
But there is a darker side of this wealth of information. Violent content, pornography, political propaganda, hate speech, and other radical ideas are only an online search away. Once accessed, this information can flood a data stream and infect the computer or other online device, along with the adult or child looking at it.
Children need guidance and monitoring while online. The distinction between right and wrong is less obvious in the virtual world. The anonymous nature of the online society can lead adults and children to believe they can “get away” with something they wouldn’t do in their normal life. This generally isn’t the case as online actions can have a devastating impact on family, work, school, and finances.
Here are some ways parents or guardians can help keep a child out of trouble online:
- Consider placing computers in locations where parents/guardians can observe what their children are seeing.
- Establish family rules for internet use and inform children that their use of it will be monitored.
- Use filtering/blocking software to restrict their children’s access to inappropriate sites and material.
- Search their home computer files to see what sites their children have visited.
- Look for signs that their children may be involved with online criminal activityor be interacting with potentially dangerous people.
- If training is needed, attend classes.
- If training classes are not available, ask school administrators, law enforcement, or their local Parent Teachers Association to consider offering them.
- As parents, sometimes just paying attention to your child’s online activity is enough to discourage inappropriate activity.
Listening to your child and being engaged in their life, online and off, can make all the difference.
*Some information derived from Security Research Center’s “Guide For Preventing and Responding to School Violence”.