Internet has become the most formidable medium for information dissemination. The possibilities it opens in front of us are immense and not many of us have come close to completely exploiting the internet. Though we are aware of the wonderful opportunities it opens in front of us, parents are unwilling to teach their children how to make use of it effectively and safely. The result is that the child learns about the internet from all the wrong sources, making him or her all the more vulnerable to predators who easily pose as friends. Since it is established that a child learns best from his/her parents, you must teach your child to effectively use the internet and to protect himself or herself from predators. Here’s what you must do to introduce your child to the internet.
Educating Children In Internet Usage
Here are some things you should take care about when going ahead to educate your child about the internet.
Activate Privacy Settings
There may have been many times when you may have been searching for something and bumped into something sexually suggestive, forcing you into exploring the privacy and safety settings. It is good to be well versed with the settings your internet provides and to use them wherever and whenever necessary – this is the best reason to explore privacy settings. Most top internet browsers like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox and now, even Netscape Navigator, provide user friendly settings for privacy.
Create An Account
Your child will surely need an account over the internet to be able to access anything. Make sure they do not use their full name as a part of the User Id, unless they are corresponding with their teachers. Since popular websites like Yahoo or Gmail provide access to social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook or Orkut, they would be the ideal choice for opening an email account in.
Be Aware, But Do Not Scare
It is good to be a part of your child’s friend list on any social networking site; it signifies that your child trusts you enough with his friends over the internet and what they share. But it is better not to be constantly obsessed with what your child does on the internet, scaring your child into never trusting you with his private matters over the net. Do not interact with your child on any social networking site, or you may end up scaring him/her all the more.
Guide Them Right
Get to know your children’s email addresses and send them, great links and other materials that you think they should read about or know. Use the internet to communicate in the best way with your child, but do not try to push your ideas and opinions on your child. Let him/her have his/her own opinion about what you sent him/her and do not get into a dispute when he/she disagrees.
Set Time Limits
Internet is not the only way to entertainment and the child needs other outdoor activities too. Set the time limits in the very beginning and make sure your child sticks to them or else he/she may end up making a mess of his social life offline, may end up neglecting studies and not be able to involve himself/herself in any outdoor activities.
New Friends? Beware!!
As you get to know, all the people your child befriends offline, get to know your child’s online friends. Make sure your child does not give out personal information to anyone over the internet or share personal pictures with too many people over the internet. Make sure the photo-sharing is restricted to close friends and family members only.