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Nurudeen Lawal

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For Parents: How to Monitor and Ensure your Kids’ Safety on the Internet

The Internet is equally a very important resource for kids. There are countless useful activities kids can do on the internet: acquire knowledge/skills, play educative and interactive games, communicate with the parents, teachers, and friends, etc. Nonetheless, the internet can also pose hazards to kids, if they aren’t properly guided and monitored. Below are some important internet safety measures parents can put in place to ensure their kids are safe on the internet.

 

Enlighten the kids about internet and its use

 

As a parent/guardian, you should not just make the internet available for your kids. Teach them everything about its proper usage; the do’s and don’ts.

 

Ensure that the kids’ personal details and other things such as password, user ID, etc. are kept private

 

It’s advisable to make sure the kids do not use their real names and names of specific places they visit regularly. If possible, public display of their pictures online should also be regulated.

 

Set up mature content filtering software on their gadgets

 

There are software applications that can automatically wipe out adult or violent contents on your kids’ gadgets and even allow you to remotely monitor the kids’ activities online. Net Nanny (www.netnanny.com is a good example.

 

Make use of browsers’ parental controls on your kids’ gadgets

 

Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer and other major Internet browsers allow users to set up security safeguards and content filters for language, nudity, sex, violence, etc. Take advantage of these control features to regulate what your kids.

 

Monitor their internet history (browsing history)

 

Checking browsing history will allow you see every site the kids visit or any files they download. The feature is available in almost all major browsers.

 

Regulate their online chatting

 

Closely monitor their online interactions with other friends. Educate them about the façade of the Internet and how possibly sometimes some people pretend to be people they aren’t in reality. Thus, inform them never to arrange to meet with an online friend without your consent. Also, monitor their chats to ensure your kids do not engage in cyber-bullying or are victims of the same.

 

Follow up with your kids’ internet access at school

 

If your kids also have access to internet at school, talk to their teachers and make sure the schools have adequate internet regulative measures.

 

Regulate your kids’ time on internet

 

Make sure your kids do not spend too much time on the internet in such a way that jeopardizes their physical interactions.

 

Use your wireless router to monitor your kids’ online activities

 

Some wireless routers are designed to enable users keep a log of sites visited by your kids via your home internet connection as well as set up a list of blocked sites that can’t be accessed from your child’s computer.

 

You can ask an internet specialist to help you set up your wireless router to monitor and supervise your kids’ activities.

 

Use other web resources to monitor/supervise your child’s internet usage

 

There are other software/web resources you can use to check your kids’ online activities. Some of them are SafetyWeb, SocialShield, and so on.

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