Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Internet Threats: Protect your Children from Online Attack

With the digital lifestyle that children has these days, online risk is just at their fingertips.  Mobile phones, iPad, tablets, and other latest gadgets are equipped with online access for children plus the proliferation of social media websites where they spend most of their time.  A vigilant parent is a must by knowing and teaching the children the danger of online attacks. 

Cyber bullying, identity theft, virus attack, other online attacks, and worst online crime related incidents are among the disadvantages of being wired.  Children and teens are vulnerable to these and they are the most target of online predators. But sometimes, predators who commits these acts are not actually strangers but so called “friends” or acquaintances from the internet.

Here are some reminders to protect our children:

  • Before buying children of their own computers or gadgets, think twice if they are already old enough to be responsible in using it.  Although small children can already operate gadgets, there should be a certain age that they own one.
  • Let them use a shared computer and  place in the living room so this will be more accessible to all and easier to check them.  At times, join them in browsing the internet or playing games while you teach them.
  • If possible, set a limit or schedule for the online activity of children.  How long will they be allowed onlineThey should know what websites are safe and what is not.  .  Set rules and consequences for them.
  • Orient them about how online culture works, and that there are bad people doing bad things online so they should be careful. 
  • Observe proper online etiquette, avoid profane words and respect for others.  Children are too young for forum websites.
  • Never give personal information to others online.
  • Never give credit card information even to friends.
  • Never share password even to friends.
  • Never entertain unwanted mails or chat messages, inform the parent or adult about it.  They should ignore the sender right away.
  • Monitor online activities of children, in some way or another they can across inappropriate  content such as obscene, violent, pornographic, or other offensive materials. 
  • Find filtering software and other internet tools to filter their online activities.

It takes time and courage to do these things especially if you are  not up to computers, but as parents, we need to sway to the dance on today's generation.