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Keeping Children Safe Online – What Can Parents Do?

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Keeping kids safe online is something that all parents are concerned about. The internet is an amazing resource for learning and communication but as we all know there is a darker side that we need to protect our children from. We have all heard the horrifying headlines about cyber bullying, online predators and inappropriate content. We all want to do our best for our kids so they can enjoy the benefits of the internet without being at risk.

The huge growth of mobile computing has presented even more challenges for parents. Whilst many of us really don’t want to hear this sexting is a growing problem amongst teens. This is something that your teen may encounter or already have become involved in, So have the conversation with them about it. It’s difficult but not as difficult as the possible consequences of ignoring that this really does happen.

How can we help to make sure that our kids are safe online?

The first step is to communicate with your child. The conversation will depend on how old the child is but it is important at any age for them to understand that not everything, or everyone on the internet has good intentions.

You should also establish rules about their online behavior. It is always the best idea to limit your kids use of the computer to a set time each day. And have the computer in a part of the house where you can see it – not in a child’s bedroom. Children are less likely to browse something they shouldn’t if you are close at hand. You can always check the browser history to see which sites have been accessed from the computer.

Content blockers and filters are a great idea, particularly for computers to which younger children have access. A Blocker does exactly what it says – blocks access to certain sites. A Content Filter scans text and images on a site and will block access to those where it flags the content or words as inappropriate. These Filters and Blockers are a particularly good idea for younger children. Be aware though that these Blockers and Filters are not an absolute guarantee – as with everything they can let content through or your computer savvy child could work out ways to get around them.

If you have an older child or teen then you may want to think about getting some kind of Tracking Software to monitor their online activity. There are also a number of internet based Monitoring Systems so that you can see your child’s cell phone and social network activity.

The internet and social media are only going to expand and touch our lives even more in the future. Taking some simple steps now could really make a difference. Start today with just spending a little time thinking about what you need to do to help keep your child safe online. You will be glad you did.

This is a Sponsored Post. As always our opinions remain our own.

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