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Internet Safety for Kids
Cyberspace may seem like a harmless playground for your children with its cute online games and virtual hangouts, but it can quickly turn into a dangerous trap. Online predators use the anonymity and social nature of the Internet to prey on vulnerable kids, including yours.
This guide teaches you the basics of Internet safety for kids. With this tools and tips resource, you can help shield your youngest kids from danger and teach the older ones how to act more carefully while online.
Don’t be afraid to become an overprotective parent. There are real dangers that threaten the safety and well-being of your kids.
- Top 5 Internet Dangers for Kids: A Resource Guide – CNet lists what it sees as the top 5 dangers for kids when going online: Data theft, malicious software, inappropriate content, cyber bullying and predators.
- 4 Dangers of the Internet – WebMD has a great feature with anecdotes and expert interviews discussing the dangers of cyber bullying, sexual predators, pornography and damaged reputations.
- Facts for Parents – The San Diego Country District Attorney provides a wealth of facts for parents, from the sobering lack of supervision on children’s online activities to the warning signs that your child is at risk on the Internet to 18 solid Internet safety tips.
- A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety - The US Federal Bureau of Investigation briefs parents on why children can be at risk when going online, and what signs should raise red flags requiring immediate intervention.
Internet Safety Tools for Parents
Many of these tools are designed to stop your young kids from meeting evil strangers and seeing forbidden sites (pornography, gambling, drugs, violence/hate/racism/, malware). But they can also be customized to curtail the risky online behavior of your teenagers.
- K9 Web Protection – A free Internet filter and parental control software program for Windows or Mac.
- Net Nanny – Has very extensive parental controls, and is easy to configure. Also provides alerts and reporting on your child’s online activity should you need them.
- Norton Family – Enables web monitoring and blocking, time limits, social network monitoring and even search monitoring. Upgrading to Family Premier unlocks video monitoring, time summary and reporting features.
- Internet Filter Software Review – Not satisfied with the previous listed picks? TopTenReviews lists the best Internet filter software based on reviews, and provides a handy comparison chart between competing choices.
- Keep Your Child Safe Online – The first part of the PCMag feature tackles why you need parental controls installed in your child’s computer. Then it moves on to the meatier part: More than a dozen software suggestions that span from traditional parental control products to hard-ware-based protection to mobile control apps for teenagers who possess Internet-capable smartphones.
Teaching Kids Internet Safety
As a parent with a full-time job and family responsibilities, you cannot be expected to hover over your child every time he or she uses the Internet. Many times, especially for teenagers who value their privacy, attempting to spy on them may even lead to conflicts.
It falls on you to train your children to keep themselves out of their danger. Teach them these safety guidelines for starters:
- How to Explain Online Dangers to Children – The Telegraph helps parents through the task of teaching their children why and how the Internet can be a perilous place.
- Teach Kids Online Security Basics – Microsoft outlines four basic rules that kids should learn as early as possible: Keep passwords secret, use social networking safely, do not reveal too much when blogging, and looking out for online fraud.
- Top 7 Websites to Teach Kids About Internet Safety – Sometimes parents need the help of online games and computer programs to better make kids understand the concept of internet safety. These seven educational Internet safety freeware are designed to do just that.
- 11 Resources for Teaching & Learning Web Safety – Top educational blog Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne suggests a list of resources that can help in teaching kids learn web safety. Includes the Webonauts Academy that imparts proper online behaviors, an instructional eBook focusing on tweens, and videos discussing safe online practices.
- How to Talk to Your Kids – This short but enlightening guide tackles the How of teaching kids Internet safety, which is just as important to know as the Why and What. After reading you can browser around the website, which is run by the US Federal government, for up-to-date tips on all aspects of Internet safety for kids: Mobiles phones, computer security, cyber bullying, privacy and more.
Call for Help
Contact these authorities for help in keeping your kids safe online.
- Who You Should Contact for Help – GetNetWise recommends contacting the local police, national advocacy groups and federal law enforcement when you encounter online dangers that may be threatening the safety and well-being of your kids. Includes useful contact numbers and website links.
- Non-US readers should search for their respective child protection agencies. The UK for example has the CEOP. These agencies will have country- or even city-specific advice