Part one Computers and Tablets
There have been big news stories in the last year about children who have committed suicide because of internet bullying. What are some of the things we can do to keep our grandchildren safe while they use the internet?
Keeping our children safe takes two forms: teaching or instructing children on how to use the internet and being genuinely interested in your child’s use of the internet.
Microsoft’s web page Teach kids online security basics starts by discussing the need to teach children to keep their passwords private – private even from their friends but not their parents.
Microsoft also provides information on how to store passwords, and provides information on how internet predators attempt to get passwords and other personal information. This information is important to anyone who is new to the internet - as a grandparent I learned great deal.
All of the authorities on internet safety recommend that parents establish rules around internet usage and as a grandparent you need to establish the rules for your house:
1) When children can be online – all sites encourage parents to ensure that their children do not use the internet after parents have gone to bed as this is often when predators seek out their victims this may mean parents/grandparents keep cell phones overnight.
2) All internet usage happen in public areas in the home. This is hard in the smartphone age!
3) Never provide personal information
4) Never arrange to meet with someone they met on the internet
5) Communicate on social networks with only people they know off the internet
6) Rules around what websites can be visited. Set age limits for joining social networking sets. Parents have passwords to such sites, depending on age of the child? These rules will reflect individual family values and child vulnerabilities.
The National Centre For Missing &Exploited Children provides parents and grandparents with topics and questions that we can ask children about their internet usage without scaring them.
1) Ask your child about the sites that they visit, what they find interesting about the site and then spend some time letting them show you around these site.
2) Ask them about the social networking sites that they visit, who they are speaking with.
3) Be interested in what your child is interested in.
I would also like to direct you to the website In the Heart of my Home and their article on Screen Rules this article is well worth your time to read.
|In the Heart of my Home: Screen Rules|
In part two on internet safety we will look at smart phones.
I am not an expert on internet safety please visit the two websites provided, and keep your children safe on the internet.
Microsoft. (2014). Teach kids online security basics. Retrieved from Microsoft Safety & Security Center: http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/childsafety-internet.aspx
National Centre For Missing & Exploited Children. (2014). Basic Internet Safety. Retrieved from National Centre For Missing & Exploited Children: http://www.netsmartz.org/internetsafety
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