Internet safety: Is the Internet safe for your child?
The Internet is a treasure trove of knowledge, yet lurks danger aplenty. Is your children safe whilst surfing the Internet?
According to a survey conducted recently, it was found that 96% of children aged 7 to 14 accessed the Internet at least once in 12 months. The tech savvy children cause much worries for their parents as they may unknowingly invite unwanted attention, or become victims of cybercrime.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) in Singapore conducted a Internet safety study that confirms the worst fears of parents. Up to 50% of the children added strangers on social networks such as Facebook, and 25% has admitted to being victims of cyber-bullying. Often, parents may not even find out.
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Parents indicated that placing the computer in a common area is one of the best ways to keep an eye on their child whilst surfing the Internet.
An innovative and effective way would be to strike an agreement with your child. Grace Miranda did just that – “I told my daughter that if i caught her changing her passwords may it be in YM [Yahoo! Messenger] or FB [Facebook] that would be the end of it, no more computer and its been 2 years now she is still sticking to our agreement.” She also added that mother and daughter would sit and surf the Internet together. It is a good way to bond with the child, apart from monitoring the child’s surfing activity and ensuring Internet safety.
Other ways would include:
- Keeping security software up-to-date
- Restrict the child’s access to the Internet by setting a time limit
- Empowering the child with the option of logging out of the website if they feel uncomfortable
- Encourage the child to speak up and report any suspicious activity
- Using child-safe search engine and portals such as AskJeevesKids, Yahoo!
- Discourage kids from sharing personal information online
Richie Gilbert is one such parent utilising OpenDNS, which allows the more tech-savvy parents like him to block and filter out websites deemed unsafe, or inappropriate content for children.
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With all these measures in place, parents would be able to breathe easy knowing that children will be surfing the Internet safely.