Contributed by Jennifer Andrews, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Technology has made tremendous advancements over the years particularly in the area of computers.
Since the origins of the internet back in the 1960’s, the World Wide Web has become increasingly modernized, complex and efficient. Nowadays, you can find just about any information you are looking for via the Internet. With accessibility comes risk however, as the internet is also a place where people can find out personal information about others, including what they look like, where they live and what they do.
Children in particular should be taught how to maximize safety when using the internet for school or social purposes. Educate your own child with the following top ten safe internet surfing tips for kids.
10. Keep it private
To ensure safe internet surfing, kids should keep personal information private and not share it on public forums or with people they don’t know. Such information includes where they live, addresses and parent’s information such as their names and work locations. Purchase, install and use internet security software to keep browsing safer.
9. Use passwords
Children should use passwords for sites such as email services or any forum where personal information may be shared. Young children should share passwords with their parents but never give it to strangers or even friends. Make sure passwords are changed frequently to reduce the chance of hacking.
8. Photo sharing
With the popularity of sites such as Facebook and rising trend in blogs, posting pictures is a hot commodity on the internet. However, kids should practice safe internet surfing by not sharing photos with any strangers nor post anything risqué on a public website.
7. Keep it clean
Avoid surfing websites that are not appropriate for children, pre-teens or even adolescents. Such sites may be frequented by people who are dangerous or involve illegal activity. And even on so-called safe sites, teach children that they should never share full names, addresses (or even city or state), phone numbers or school information. Anyone can pose as a child or teen at sign up, so even in monitored sites, kids need to be careful.
6. Log out
Never forget to log out of your computer when you are finished surfing the internet. In particular, log out of email sites such as Hotmail, yahoo or Gmail to ensure someone using the computer after you cannot access your private information.
5. Ask the authorities
When in doubt about a site or what you can or should share on the internet, always ask your parents or guardian first! There are cyber safety resources for parents who feel they need to understand the internet more to protect their children.
4. Avoid chatter
Never go into private chat-rooms alone or accept an invitation to such a forum. Chat rooms can be fodder for people who are trying to solicit young kids for illegal purposes, including sex or drugs.
3. No meetings
A top safe internet surfing tip for kids to follow religiously is to never, ever agree to meet with someone you met on the internet but don’t know in real life. This is an extremely dangerous situation where the rule of thumb should be to “never talk to strangers!”
2. Bully OUT
Kids should stay out of websites that are pro-bullying or that specifically target someone to bully and make fun of anonymously. Not only is it not right to bully or make fun of someone else, it could also lead to serious consequences such as low self-worth or possible suicide of the targeted person.
1. Time limits
Above all, kids should be kids! Set a time limit for how long children can spend on the computer to decrease the risk of finding inappropriate or dangerous websites.