Do’s and Dont’s of Internet for Kids

The Internet can be a wonderful place to learn, shop, play games, and talk to your friends. Unfortunately, there are also predators, identity thieves, and others online who may try to harm you. In order to be safe online, it’s important for you and your kids to be aware of the dangers.

Many kids are confident that they know how to be safe online. However, there are a few reasons kids are often more at risk. They may not always think about the consequences of their actions, which can cause them to share too much information about themselves. Kids also are sometimes specifically targeted by cyberbullies or predators.

If you’re a parent or guardian, you can help to keep your kids safe by talking to them about their Internet use, teaching them about online dangers, and learning everything you can about the Internet so you can make informed decisions.

Understanding online dangers

In order to keep your kids safe, you’ll need to know about the different types of online dangers that exist. For example, kids and teens may find inappropriate content on the Internet, such as pornography or obscene language. There is also a possibility of cyberbullying or cyberharassment from others online. This does not mean your child will encounter all of these threats. However, knowing about the dangers can help you and your kids make smart decisions online.

Other types of dangers

Whenever someone uses a computer, there is a risk of eye strain, wrist strain, and other injuries. You can help prevent this by limiting the amount of time your kids spend on computers and mobile devices. For tips on avoiding injury, read Creating a Safe Workspace in our Computer Basics tutorial.

There’s also another reason to limit your kids’ Internet use: Because people are spending more and more time online, Internet addiction is becoming a more significant problem. Internet use can be a good thing, but if it becomes an addiction it can affect a person’s offline life.

Places where dangers can occur

It’s important for kids to be careful whenever they’re connected to the Internet because online dangers are not just limited to bad websites. Chat rooms, computer games, and even social networking sites can be risky. If your kids have mobile phones, they’ll also need to be careful when texting or when accessing the Internet on their phones.

Review the slideshow below to learn about some of the places online where kids can be at risk.

Guidelines for keeping your kids safe

It can be difficult to keep your kids completely safe online. Even if you set up parental controls on your home computer, your kids will use many other computers that don’t have parental controls. To keep your kids safe, you’ll need to teach them to make good decisions online—even when you’re not around.

Below are some general tips you can use when teaching your kids about online safety:

  • Learn everything you can about the Internet.
  • Set standards for what your kids can and cannot do online.
  • Teach your kids to keep personal information private.
  • Teach your kids to use social networking sites safely.
  • Encourage your kids to come to you if they encounter a problem.
  • Talk to your kids about Internet use.

source: GCFGlobal

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