Have you ever seen the television show on NBC Dateline “To Catch a Predator”? Well if you haven’t, Chris Hansen, the host of the show, has a set up to catch predators online who are trying to meet younger children. The purpose of this show is to raise awareness to parents that child predators are out there. With the help of chat room and sites like Facebook it is becoming easier and easier for these people to lure in children. On the show “To Catch a Predator” the predators that fall for the bait are arrested. This is just one of the reasons why parents are becoming more worried for their children to be using the Internet. Television shows like “To Catch a Predator” have parents asking themselves, is the internet safe for my children?
The internet can be very dangerous, but there are ways for parents to better insure their child’s safety while online. One great way to start protecting your children is to have a computer in a high traffic area in the house where children can be observed. Children need to be safe at all times while using the Internet. By having a computer in a traffic area children are less likely to get on to sites they aren’t allowed. Parents are able to discretely walk by to monitor what their kids are doing online instead of checking in. Teens typically feel like they are able to handle themselves when it comes to internet safety. If an adult is obviously checking in on them they will become annoyed. They can also ask for help and someone will be around to help. For example, my brother and his wife have a computer in their living room, because that’s where they spend most of their time. They also have it in the living room so they can keep an eye on their oldest son. It’s not bad to have a computer in a high traffic area; it’s actually a great way for parents to always be aware of what their children are doing while still giving them the illusion of having their space.
Another way to keep children safe while using the Internet is to watch where children or teens have visited. This can be done by simply viewing the browser history. It’s pretty hard not to worry where children have snooped around while surfing the web. In FireFox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, you can find the Internet History link in the upper right side of the screen. This is also a discrete way to check in on your children.
Another concern for parents is downloading. Downloading music slows down your computer and after a while your computer will have a lot of problems. Computers are expensive and having to get them fixed or even buy a new one every 3 years is not something you want to do or may even be able to afford. A good way you can prevent this is making sure your children are aware of the viruses that can come from downloading. Also, spending time with you children online while they are doing their homework. Teach them how to use different sources and this way you can also watch what sites are being visited. Children need to earn respect from parents and by doing that they need to keep away from the things that may harm computers such as looking at inappropriate web sites, like pornography Set boundaries for what type of information are acceptable to give out. If you have a Facebook account let them know what pictures are acceptable. Don’t just tell them that the certain picture isn’t acceptable, instead let them know why it isn’t. If you feel necessary, do a little research and show them examples of children getting in trouble for posting too much information online. On example would be an article posted on Business Insider on June of 2014. This article states that roughly twenty four middle school students in Spaulding County, Atlanta were suspended for a Facebook post that encouraged peers to break dress code. This in my opinion, wasn’t fair punishment, but is a great example of how something that is seemly harmless can be blown out of proportion and negatively affect your…