Monday, December 30, 2013

How Can You Ensure Your Child Is Using Technology Safely? (Guest Post)

Since technology has become an integral part of every day life and children will, in one way or another, be exposed to technology, it’s important to talk to them and take measures to protect them so they can feel safe when using technology and you can feel confident they’re using it responsibly.

For more information on eSafety there are many websites out there offering tips on child safe websites such as a community website for parents and professionals to ask questions and get answers about raising happy, healthy children in this super-connected, global age.

What is eSafety?

ESafety, online safety or electronic safety are the measures taken to ensure that younger people aren’t exposed to age inappropriate materials on the internet and are protected from schemes, fraud and people who may have the intention of hurting them.

Why you should teach your children about eSafety

Some of the most common concerns that come with Internet use are:

  • Cyber stalking and Cyber bullying
  • Potentially damaging websites or links that can infect your computer with viruses
  • Distasteful and vulgar content
  • Identity theft
  • Illegal activity like downloading music or movies

What measures you can take as a parent

  • The first thing you can do as a parent is ensure that your home computer and technological devices have up-to date antivirus software running on them as well as a firewall active (included in most antivirus software packages).
  • Determine at what age you feel your child should be entitled to privacy. Before this age you could make it so you have access to their social media accounts, emails and phone records. This way you can monitor their activity and know if they’re engaging in any illegal or potentially dangerous activity as well as if there is someone harassing them. It can be difficult to monitor teenagers as this may fuel arguments about mistrust so maybe find a compromise that unless they give you a reason not to trust them you should allow them to have privacy.
  • Look into parental control software that can filter, set time limits and monitor sites your child is accessing.
  • Don’t allow for them to access your credit card information.

Some important lessons to teach your children

  • Teach them not to open links they receive by email from contacts they do not know.
  • Not to share personal information like their age, national insurance number, address or phone number with people they do not know very well.
  • Explain to them that what they post on their social media profiles today can come back to haunt them in the future.
  • Show them how to alter privacy settings on websites they are signed up on.
  • Explain to them that they should uphold the same moral values and socially acceptable behaviours online as they would in real life. Ie. Harassing their peers and engaging in illegal activity like downloading media.
  • That posting their location can prove dangerous in the event they are being cyber stalked.
  • Tell them they aren’t allowed to make any purchases online without your consent.

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Pam L said...

A lack of safety is the only draw back to the internet. And I agree that teaching children precautions will pay off in the long run.
I also use parental control to ensure what happens on the internet in our home.

Shelly Peterson said...

Thanks for sharing this great information. Getting parental control software is a good idea.

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