How to keep your child safe while on the Internet?
Internet, a word has oscillated the whole world in the past couple of years. It is no wonder to say, that world has become smaller with the existence of Internet. Many things, which took years and ages, can be done now within fraction of seconds. Yes, it has proved to be a boon for human beings. However, as every coin has two sides, every situation has two aspects; similarly, internet is useful if only used in a right way. Considering the dark and ugly side of the internet, it is very important to educate children to use it for their benefit as it has posed some serious challenges to teachers and parents. It’s a tricky situation, without a perfect solution and it is challenging to understand for many where to start from.
It has been established that children who spend most of their time on internet, show a peculiar kind of behavior, which is marked by an urge to be on internet all the time, so much that the child become immersed in virtual world. Being a teacher by profession, I speak to many parents who struggle with the addiction of children to the laptops or mobiles. Sometimes this addiction is to such an extent that children revolt at home. Hence, it is advisable for parents and teachers to monitor how much time their children spend on internet and set a time limit to use the internet. “Dave Lewis, a global, advocate at Akamai technologies, says that the most important thing actually has nothing to do with technology: It’s all about having an open conversation with your kids, creating a mental framework that helps to keep your kid safe-and teaches them to protect themselves.”
I do not mean at all to hold your children from using internet, as they rely on internet for lot of things and it would be unfair to keep them unconnected to the rest of the world. However, it is extremely important to explain positive and negatives of it. As everything under the sun is available on google, yahoo and other search engines and it opens a whole new world to the kids. So, explain the positives of internet which outweigh the negatives. Don’t scare the children or be too manifest, but they should understand the perils while being on internet. Talking overtly amongst the family members will develop a healthy attitude towards the use of it.
Parental Controls can be the easiest way to protect the children when they are online. It is an essential requirement for the working as well as stay at home parents. Such controls restrict the child from vising the websites and social media pages which you do not wish them to see. These are easy to install and most of them are self-explanatory and a great way to keep children safe. Internet scheduler allows parents to set a specific time of the day and duration to access internet for their children. It also prevents the kids from getting addicted to the internet.
Raising awareness about cyber bullying is also a must for parents and teachers so that children recognize what is it and they stay safe. A child facing bullying feels scared, insecure, worried or angry. They need to know when the line is crossed and a joke or teasing has gone too far. Stay involved with kids so that they don’t hide anything in such cases. Children should know what they can do and who they can go to for help if they are a victim.
Children mirror what we do in front of them. So, apart from controlling, guiding and educating children, we need to control ourselves too for using internet. Cutting down our own time on internet will set a positive and right example for the kids also.
The internet is a remarkable source of learning and children have to be encouraged to use it by parents and teachers both. Its value as a resource is immeasurable. I believe if it is used in a right manner, under proper guidance, it will always be a boon to humanity.