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5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe on the Internet

For most adults, the internet is an environment that can be explored without the need for much in the way of restriction. It has its unsavory places and characters but most adults can quickly spot when they are straying into areas that may be distasteful, illegal, or dangerous. However, even the most innocent keyword search can return unexpected results making it imperative that children are supervised in some way when using the internet. This may seem a difficult thing to do in this day and age but there are a few simple steps you can take as a parent to make sure your children are safer than they would be if you allowed them to surf without restrictions. Don’t leave the computer in their bedroom. There is an ever-increasing trend for allowing kids to have computers in their own bedrooms or playrooms. Given that on the net, despite every child’s best intentions, they may only ever be one inquisitive click away from unregulated obscenity, it’s unwise to allow children to be alone in their room with the PC. If your child is surfing the internet from the privacy of their own bedroom, how can you be sure that the sites they visit and the people they communicate with are appropriate for them? Children are naturally inquisitive and even rebellious. They’ll go wherever they can on the internet, not just the places their parents think they should. The only way to be confident that you’re keeping them safe online is to control the environment within which they use the internet. Move the computer to a communal space like the living room, family room, or even the dining room if you have the space. You need to ensure that it’s a room used all the time and that it’s a place you, as the responsible adult, will be in regularly when the kids are using the computer. Using the PC where anyone can see the screen becomes a form of self regulation, even if you’re not looking at the screen every time you pass by. It also allows you to quickly intervene if necessary. Make sure you understand just as much about the web and the technology as they do. Much of the stress that parents feel regarding their children’s use of the internet stems from a lack of knowledge of the web and technology in general. If you have a PC at home, use it more often yourself. Start using the internet and get some practical experience with the computer,...

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