How to Keep Your Child Safe on the Internet

This been provided by BullGuard Internet Security who provide an all in one antivirus and internet security solution.

There are a number of things you can do to help keep your child safe when they go on the internet, and to prevent them from seeing content which is of an adult nature.

Learn to Surf for Yourself
If you don’t know what’s out there, it is going to be difficult for you to know how best to protect your child, so get yourself onto the internet and learn how it works for yourself.  There are plenty of adult education classes available around the country where you can take lessons if you aren’t sure where to begin.

Parental Controls
Set in place parental controls on all equipment that can be connected to the internet.  This means that you lock out any sites that you do not wish your child to see, and create rules that control which sites they can gain access to according to its content. Some ISP’s also offer child safety measures so it’s always worth asking what they provide.

Take Control
Put the computer in a family room where its screen is visible to you.  Set up passwords so that your child cannot access the internet when you are not there, and learn to use the ‘history’ on the computer to see what sites your child is accessing when they do surf the internet.

Get Your Child Involved
Kids generally react better to rules if they understand why they are in place, so involve your child.  Explain to them that the internet has content that is suitable for everyone and some that isn’t.  Talk to them about safety on the internet just as you would talk to them about safety in the street.  Let them know that certain things are ok and certain things are not, and help them to understand that the boundaries you set are there to keep them safe.

Personal Information
Explain to your child why it is important to keep personal information safe, and why they shouldn’t share details about themselves with strangers.  They should be aware that personal information that they give out can be used to for unlawful reasons which could involve the police if the wrong person steals and uses this information.

Make sure they understand that they must not:

  • Give out personal information such as name, address, phone numbers, passwords, pin numbers and bank details.
  • Arrange to meet an online friend without your full knowledge, permission and/ or presence.
  • Register with any websites without your permission
  • Give any indication of their age, name, sex or other personal information in their screen name or online persona.
  • Upload or download anything from the internet without your permission including pictures.

Teach Them to Tell You
If your child ever comes across anything which; they don’t understand, frightens or worries them, or; if they are bullied online, if anyone says anything that is inappropriate or tries to get them to do anything you’ve said they shouldn’t then they should tell you immediately.  Make sure that they are not afraid of your reaction, and let them know that you understand sometimes people come across things accidentally and they won’t be the ones in trouble.

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