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Internet Control and Safety Tips

March 14, 2012

It seems virtually impossible to shield children from the many dangers that exist online. Whether it is identity theft or online predators, parents should be overly concerned about their children each and every time they have access to the web.  Studies have shown that parents are aware of the dangers that exist but many feel that “it could never happen to them” and proceed to let their children have uncensored access to websites such as Facebook.  This statement couldn’t be further from the truth.  Parents must always have their guards up and vow to do what they can to protect their children. How?  Protection comes through internet control.  Being an overbearing parent is okay when it comes to protecting children from the many dangers that the internet possesses.  What seems to be impossible is now possible with creative and inventive tools to help parents gain control over what their kids are doing while on the internet.

What is Internet Control?

Internet control, also known as parental control, can potentially help lessen or eliminate the possible dangers that kids face on a daily basis as they use the internet.  It begins with parents.  Parents must be willing to get heavily involved in every single aspect of what their kids are doing on the internet.  What are they researching? What websites do they visit most? Are they posting private information on public forum?  How much time are they spending on the internet? Are they facebooking every detail of their private life?  Internet control can help a parent answer all of these questions and more.  It is an effective tool that parents can use to protect their children.

Means of Internet Control

Controlling every detail of a child’s visits to websites such as Facebook and other dangerous websites sounds hard, right? Wrong! While it will take up time, controlling what a child does on the internet does not have to be hard.  Listed below are a few ways that internet control can help parents protect children.

  • Alerts parents to sexual predators on the internet.
  • Helps parents block websites that may be inappropriate.
  • Reduces the chances of a child being cyber bullied via the internet. 
  • Helps parents monitor how much time they spend on the internet. 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media network at least 10 times a day. Internet control can actually deter them from using the site so often.  
  • Makes it more difficult for kids to hide discussions about potential drug and alcohol use.

These are just a few of the many reasons why parents should take advantage of internet control as a means of protecting their children on dangerous websites such as Facebook. The following are a few creative ways for parents to take initiative.

  • Invest in parental control software. There is software available online that can help detect potential problems on websites such as Facebook. While Facebook has a policy against allowing young kids to participate in the social network, the Kids Safety @ Facebook Survey found that 38% of all kids on Facebook are under the age of 13.  It is vital that parents invest in software to aid in protecting their children.
  • Computer parental controls.  Many computers come with programs or software designed to help protect children online.  Unfortunately, few parents actually take the time to learn how to use the controls.  This, combined with parental control software offered by companies such as Minor Monitor can ensure that the utmost control is offered to parents who want to ensure the safety of their child when visiting risky websites such as Facebook.
  • Talking about computer safety and making children aware of the dangers.  Communication can solve many problems.  Parents can use communication as a tool to combat the dangers. Practicing internet safety as a family can also help.

Safety Tips

Parents are often reluctant to discuss internet safety with their children simply because they aren’t sure what to say. In 2011, Consumer Reports reported that only 10% of parents of kids under the age of 10 had “frank” talks with their kids about internet safety.  Providing them with safety tips to help guide the conversation may encourage parents to sit down and have the talk.  The safety tips below are conversation starters that can help parents teach children about the dangers of the internet and how to stay safe while using it.

  • Never give out personal information. It is not enough to just tell kids this. They must know what personal information is and be heavily instructed against giving out this type of information.
  • People that you don’t know on the internet should always be considered strangers. Just as a parent instructs his child to never talk to strangers, children should be instructed to never talk to strangers in an online environment too. “Friending” should only be approved by parents.
  • Confide in an adult if a threatening email or message appears regardless of who it is from.  Parents must let their children know that it is okay to feel scared and if it happens, to contact them immediately.
  • Never send pictures to people online.  Sexual predators do exist and are preying on children via Facebook and other websites.  Children must be taught not to send pictures of strangers who ask for them.
  • Never agree to meet someone you don’t know. A child must know what could potentially happen when meeting someone they have been talking to on the internet. It’s important that parents bring in real life situations to help explain the dangers of it.

The safety tips listed above are just a few of the many tips that parents should go over with their children on a regular basis in an effort to keep them safe.  A general list of internet safety tips must always be visible.

Crimes on the internet are quickly becoming the fastest growing crimes in the United States. Who are the victims? A large percentage of them are children.  Parents must utilize internet control and establish rules and regulations for internet use in the household.  The problem isn’t going away.  Parents must step up to the plate and take control in an effort to keep their children safe.

Terms associated with Internet Control

parental internet control, facebook control, social monitoring control

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