HowToLearn is happy to supply you with these tips to keep tabs on kids online.
Is snooping bad parenting? Today’s kids have access to more information than any generation before. With the click of a button, they can see real-time updates about world events, local news and volunteer opportunities at the local food bank. And in a perfect world, that’s all they’d be using the internet for… but, unfortunately, we don’t live in that world, and there’s so much more these young minds want to explore.
So, at a time when so much good is available on the Internet, how can you, as a parent, make sure to keep out the bad?
Teach your kids the basics of internet safety
Laying out a few simple rules can make the Web a little less scary for you and your teen. First and foremost, teach them the importance of keeping personal information private. That includes full name, phone number, home address and even email address – and especially photos. The Internet allows users to remain anonymous, and you can never know who’s on the other side of the computer.
Snoop… but don’t overdo it
Don’t get carried away and hover over your teen’s shoulder while they type, but make sure they know you are in control. Tell your teen you want them to use the Internet as they need to for school – and even for fun – but that you’ll be monitoring their activity from time to time. A good idea is to check their browsing history once a week. Find something unsavory? Talk about it. Encourage them to seek information, but make sure they know what you don’t want them using the Web for.
What if they download a virus on our family computer?
Hopefully the ground rules you set out will help teens avoid questionable links, but one of the best things you can do for you and your teen is to install a reliable internet security program. Even with your best efforts to root out risky links, sometimes it happens and a virus is opened. A good security system can make this one less thing you need to worry about.
Create an open line of conversation
Tell your teens they can talk to you about anything – and mean it. We’ve all screwed up at some point. If your teen trusts that they can talk to you about something they did online, even if it’s not something you’d approve of, it will be much easier to attack any problem head on.
The Internet is changing faster than any of us can possibly keep up with. And at some point, your teen is likely to know more about it than you, if they don’t already. Start now to create house rules that keep your teens safe while giving you peace of mind. Learn more about kid’s internet safety.
Shannon McCarty-Caplan is a Consumer Security Advocate at Trend Micro. Shannon has over a dozen years of experience helping consumers and businesses find the security solutions they need to protect their families, privacy and critical data. Shannon is a news junkie with a BA in Journalism from the University of Arizona. She advises families on tips to keep tabs on kids online