Parental guidance to computer and Internet safety for Children
Tips for parent's guidance regarding internet use
The question on how to keep children's internet safe was asked in June 2013 DNB exam. The exact question was as follow
There are basically two steps to explain to parents how to keep their children safe from potential dangers arising from exposure to computers and online media or the internet
- The first step is to explain and counsel the list of possible dangers for the children which can arise.
- The second is to provide the solutions as the kids cannot be stopped from the exposure to the internet for its benefits.
The possible problems due to internet and computer exposure for children are
- Exposure to inappropriate material
- Unreliable information
- A breach of personal information and privacy
- Harassment and bullying
- Financial risk
- Unwanted advertising and marketing towards children
A pediatrician can provide the following tips as a solution to the problem of internet safety
1.Educate your children on internet safety
An essential part of keeping children safe is to make them aware of the dangers and to talk to them about how to avoid potential problems.
2.Empower your children
Encouraging and supporting children is a very positive step towards making them feel confident in their use of the internet. Remember that children will have access to the internet not only in the home but also at other places.
3. Internet Safety Basics
Help kids understand that they should -
- Never share their names, schools, ages, phone numbers, or addresses;
- Never send pictures to strangers;
- Keep passwords private (except to parents);
- Never open an email from strangers, it may contain viruses that can harm a computer
- Immediately tell an adult if something ‘not normal’ happens.
- Make your computer safe
One of the most practical ways to help children stay safe online is to make the home computers safe to use.
A. Safety software
Install a filter on your computer to protect from unwanted content and to help manage children’s internet access. Install security software like antivirus, firewall, and spyware protection to help with security and privacy.
B. Parent’s internet safety toolkit
Get internet safety educational program. Learn about the issues and what you can do to keep your children safe using the internet. The program is available free.
C. Family-friendly internet service providers
Be sure to choose the right internet service provider who demonstrates the best practice.
Supervising your children’s internet use
At home, the best protection for a child using the internet is parental supervision and guidance. By placing your computer in a family area, supervision becomes easier than if it is in your child’s bedroom.
Be involved and have fun with kids
Keeping kids safe and teaching them how to use digital technology responsibly is all about staying involved.
Start by showing interest in the sites they visit and the games they play and parent's jobs will be a lot easier when they start exploring these technologies more independently.
Strategies for a responsible and safer online life
- Use of age-appropriate sites. Check out the site before kids visit it.
- Search safely. Use safe search settings for young kids
- Avoid strangers. Tell your kids that people aren’t always who they say they are in cyberspace. Explain that if someone they don’t know talks to them, they shouldn’t respond but should let you know
- Be a good cyber citizen! Remind kids that an Internet playground is still a playground and they need to play nicely. A good rule of thumb: If they wouldn’t do something in real life, they shouldn’t do it online.
- Keep the computer in a central place. So you can see what’s going on.
- Establish expectations and limits about the amount of time your children spend online and what they do.
- View your own habits carefully. You are their role models.
- Very close supervision is strongly recommended.