Archive for May, 2009
The Internet is a powerful tool. It is a new tool, something that we did not have when we were growing up. It is something that we need to teach our children how to use properly, although it is a great exciting place, like everything else is life, it also has it’s dangers.
Rule 1: Talk to your kids about strangers. We have always done this since they were little. Just like there are strangers at the park, there are strangers online. Tell your kids they should never give out any information about themselves or their families, even if it does not seem important. Eg. of these are: Where you live, What school you go to, Where you hang out after school. When basic information is given out, it is easy for a predator to use a few search engines and within a few minutes they can know almost EVERYTHING about you. When there is a will there is a way.
Rule 2: Never give out passwords. Often times, kids give the passwords to their close friends. This is a BIG NO-NO. When they have a tiff or if one friend is jealous of the other, they can log in to the others account and manipulate information or pretend they are the other friend and divulge private information OR make up incorrect information.
Rule 3: Teach your kids not to tolerate entertain cursing or other negative behavior. It is very easy to respond in a negative way to a person over the Internet since you can’t be seen. However, you might not know if the person the child curses is a computer expert or not, which could endanger your computer and data or finds you and hurts you.
Rule 4: Kids can have fun online while still being monitored. Giving kids total freedom online, is asking for trouble. Keeping an eye on them helps – keep the computer in a place where you can see what is happening when you pass by. Check their website history, see where they have been and what they are doing. Get their passwords and check on their chats.
Rule 5: Do not except files without permission. Files should not be opened without permission. Even if it is something as simple as a picture from a friend. It might carry a virus or it might allow another user to access your computer and files.
Again, do not stop them from using the Internet. The World Wide Web is interesting and fun BUT it needs to be used properly. Like I mentioned before it is an invaluable tool it can be great for keeping in touch with family and friends, it can be used to play games and socialize, it can be used for research and learning… but for each positive there is also a negative aspect. So, the best way to use it is with caution… and this is what we need to teach our kids.