Tuesday 31 December 2013

How to help your child stay safe online

It's not uncommon to see children even as young as five picking up an iPad knowing exactly how to use it to find what they want online. Information is so easily accessible to children today, giving them the ability to take their learning further and faster than ever before. With this access to technology and the Internet being so prevalent among children and teenagers now, parents need to be more aware of and involved in their child's usage of the Internet so that it is used as a tool that reaps positive and not negative results.

Photo credit: digitalmomblog.com

Children need to be taught how to make good use of an amazing tool like the Internet in the right way. Establishing basic rules such as not giving out your personal information online unless it's to a trusted person or website, or only adding friends on Facebook that you already know in person, goes a long way in ensuring that your child is kept safe from unnecessary risk. 

Photo credit: digitaldads.com

At FrogAsia, we advocate the use of technology and the Internet for education and encourage parents to be involved in their child's learning journey to ensure that it is also carried out in a safe manner. 

To guide you and your children towards a safer education experience online, here are a few easy safety measures taken from kidshealth.org that parents can implement to ensure that their children are using the Internet in the right way.
  • Improve your computer literacy and learn how to block objectionable material.
  • Keep the computer in a common area, not in individual bedrooms, where you can watch and monitor its use.
  • Share an email account with your child so you can monitor messages.
  • Bookmark kids' favorite sites for easy access.
  • Spend time online together to teach your kids appropriate online behavior.
  • Forbid your child from entering private chat rooms; block them with safety features provided by your Internet service provider or with special filtering software. Be aware that posting messages to chat rooms reveals a user's email address to others.
  • Find out what, if any, online protection is offered by your child's school, after-school center, friends' homes, or anyplace where kids could use a computer without your supervision.
  • Take your child seriously if he or she reports an uncomfortable online exchange.

For more helpful guidelines on how to help your child stay safe online, visit scholastic.com or staysmartonline.gov.au.

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