Preparing a Child for the Internet: Things a Parent Must Do

The internet can be a valuable tool for every responsible adult. They can use it to do their work, stay in touch with friends, and learn new things. Kids need to know how to use the internet as soon as possible to be responsible adults. However, it can also be a dangerous space.

The internet is full of danger for innocent kids. Predators, hackers, and thieves might be waiting to prey on unsuspecting children. As a result, parents must be on full alert whenever kids are on their phones or laptops. Here are some things a parent must do to prepare their child for the internet.

Establish Rules

The first thing a parent should do is sit down with their child and talk about what the internet is and how they can use it. Kids must understand that the internet is a tool and not a toy. They need to know that there are certain things they should and shouldn’t do online.

Once kids understand the internet, parents need to help them set up rules for using it. For example, kids should only use the internet when supervised by an adult. They should also have a time limit for how long they can use the internet daily. Parents can help their children use the internet responsibly by setting up these rules.

The best approach is limiting kids to about two hours of internet time daily. It ensures they won’t become too addicted and still have plenty of time to play outside, do homework, and socialize with friends.

Protect Their Identity

A symbol of an identity thief on the internet

In today’s digital world, identity theft is a severe problem. Hackers can easily access personal information like addresses and credit card numbers. As a result, parents need to be extra cautious about what information they share online.

One way to protect kids from identity theft is by not posting their pictures or personal information online. Another way is to create strong passwords for all devices and accounts. Parents should also teach their children not to disclose their personal information online.

If possible, try to control the social media accounts of your kids until you are confident they can protect themselves. It might involve being intrusive with who they talk to, but it ensures they do not fall prey to identity theft.

Talk About Online Safety

After establishing rules, parents need to talk to their kids about online safety. They should explain that there are people online who might try to hurt them. As a result, kids need to be careful about what they do and say on the internet. Parents should also teach their kids not to share personal information online. It includes their name, address, school, and pictures of themselves. Kids should only share this information with people they know and trust in real life.

In addition, parents need to show their kids how to report any suspicious or dangerous activity on the internet. They can do this by bookmarking sites like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This way, kids will know where to go if they ever feel unsafe online.

Turn on the Filters

Most devices and browsers come with parental controls that allow parents to filter the content their kids can access. It is an excellent way to protect kids from explicit or dangerous content. Parents should take advantage of these filters and use them to protect their children.

Search engines have filter features as well. Parents can use them to block certain websites from appearing in the search results. It is an effective way to protect kids from coming across explicit or dangerous content. However, it might be better to trust them. After all, letting them be themselves is among the best methods to raise a child.

Talk to Your Kids About Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is a growing problem, especially among kids. It involves using the internet to bully or harass someone. Unfortunately, many kids get victimized by cyberbullies. As a result, parents need to talk to their kids about this problem.

They should explain what cyberbullying is and how it can hurt people. They should also teach their kids not to engage in this behavior. If possible, parents should try to find out if their child has been a victim of cyberbullying. They can do this by talking to their child’s teacher or checking their social media accounts.

Monitor Their Activity

Even with all the precautions, parents must monitor their child’s internet activity. They should know what websites their kids are visiting and what they are doing online. It is the only way to ensure they are not engaging in risky behavior.

You do not have to be face to face to do this. Some software programs allow you to monitor your child’s internet activity remotely. These programs can send alerts if your child tries to access explicit or dangerous content.

Some parents might feel they invade their child’s privacy by monitoring their internet activity. However, it is a necessary precaution to take. It ensures your child is safe from the many dangers on the internet.

Conclusion

The internet can be a dangerous place for kids. They can quickly come across explicit or harmful content. As a result, parents need to take steps to protect their children. They should set up rules, talk to their kids about online safety, and monitor their activity.

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