I’m a new mom, and my daughter at almost a year old hasn’t quite figured out using a computer just yet to surf the web. However, I now understand why parents have always been sort of protective of their child’s internet usage. The answer is simple: because it’s downright scary what kids can get into online. Sure, when used the right way, message boards, instant chats, live video chat, and game forums are all helpful, and intended to be harmless fun for kids who may not have the confidence to make tons of friends in person. Nonetheless, there is always someone whose thought process isn’t so wholesome. There are some things you need to watch out for, they may seem redundant, but just look for things such as your child withdrawing from the family to use the computer too often. Strange phone calls from men or women whom you don’t know, even if they’re claiming to be children themselves. The use of a different account on social networks by your child. The majority of your child’s time is spent online, and at night. Some of these things could be completely harmless, sure, but when it’s a matter of your child and a potential online predator, best to heir on the side of caution. Online predators are usually adult, and usually are repeat offenders, so make sure you talk to your children about online danger. Keep your computer in a common room of the house, not in a child’s bedroom. Be sure to teach your child that there are other uses for the internet aside from social networking and internet chat rooms, show them the good to deter them from the bad. Also, make sure to stress to children, especially interested in video games or things of the like, to never arrange face-to-face meetings with any kids they meet online, or ever give out any personal information, even a phone number or an e-mail, unless you’ve checked the source.
Stay on your toes!