Are you one of those parents who use tablets and computers as baby sitters or as a tool for reward and punishment? Don’t worry, I’m not judging you, in fact we do it too. The internet is so amazing. We cannot begin to go into details of how much good internet has brought our generation. Kids spend more time indoors playing games over the internet every now and then. All the amazing things they can do on the computer or tablet. From researching and doing home learning to being entertained by funny videos, the internet can be a great place to be.
But it is not always a safe place. We tell our children to be aware of stranger danger. We tell them not to talk to strangers. Don’t follow anyone you don’t know. But how about the online strangers? People you don’t know but wants to be friends or even meet up with you. Grown ups can pretend to be kids online, wicked people can pretend to be your friend online. Anyone can pretend to be anyone online.
We have put together few suggestions on how to keep the kids safe while using the internet.
Don’t give your address or personal information to anyone online.
Don’t meet up with old or new friends online without telling your parents or careers (don’t even meet up but tell your parents, careers or teachers)
Don’t befriend people you don’t know and even the ones you think you know (has a photo of someone you know), ask your parents so they can verify the persons true identity. If it’s an old family friend, your parents can call them up to ask.
Ask your parents for permission before downloading anything over the internet. This includes free games.
No social media account until they are in secondary schools.
Child settings on broadband, internet and devices should be reviewed often.
Most importantly, encourage children to speak to us and their teachers at school if a stranger is chatting with them online or if they feel generally uncomfortable about anything online.
We as parents also needs to not judge them. We should encourage an environment that that allows then to speak to us about things without fearing being in trouble or being criticised.
Have fun online but also, Be vigilant!