Tips on Internet Safety
In today’s world it is unthinkable to live without the internet. The internet has become a necessity as it helps most of us to keep in touch with friends, find homework support, research a cool place to visit, do banking or get the latest news. In addition to all its advantages it offers lots of ways to waste time and even invite trouble.
You would have read or heard stories about people who landed in trouble in chat rooms.
So besides teaching your child to become internet savvy, it is important to make them aware about the troubles and danger of internet. Just like the real world, there are people online who might try to take advantage (financially and/or physically).
It is important to teach your child to protect him or herself while online.
Teach Smart Surfing
Teach your child the most important rule of surfing--- remain as anonymous as possible. They should know that private information should never be given out on the internet.
Some examples of private information that should not be shared with anyone on internet include:
- full name (self and of family members)
- address of residence, school
- phone number (landline or mobile)
- credit card numbers
This information is not requested by most credible people and companies. They have to be aware that if someone does ask for it, it's a red flag and they should not share it.
Let them create an email address or screen name that has a combination of letters and numbers and does not identify whether your child is a male or female. This is the kind of address that web experts recommend.
Tell them to use a nickname that's different from their screen name for chat rooms. This way someone who knows their screen name can not track them down via email.
Advise them to exit from a conversation in chat room that makes them uncomfortable and inform you. A smart way of chatting is to create private chat rooms where only they and the people they invite can enter to chat.
Instruct your child to keep online friendships in the virtual world as the real person can be very different from what is divulged online.
Teach your child to block unwanted messages by using spam blocker. The spam blocker can prevent the mailbox from getting clogged.
Your child should be aware that if they receive a document or file that needs to be downloaded from a sender whom they do not know, the message should be deleted. This kind of message can contain virus which can harm the computer.
There should be virus protection software in their computer. This helps your computer to get rid of unwanted spyware programs that report what your computer is doing.
If you have received cruel or bullying messages online then you are a victim of cyber bullying. These messages may be sent by former friends or an acquaintance. The message can be irritating or at times frightening. Make your child aware of cyber bullying and they should know that these messages should be ignored rather than answered.
Most cyber bullies, like any other bully are unfriendly, angry or troubled people. They are usually seeking attention or a reaction. Your child should know that if they get such messages they should inform you or some other trusted adult, especially if the message is threatening.
There are several problems when you go online, but for most people it is worth it. Rather than cutting your child and you from the net know...
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 30, 2013
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