Tips for Parents of Young Children on the Safer Use of the Internet
When being asked 'Have you been on the Internet?' most children nowadays quickly answer YES. Children as young as six years old are now surfing the Internet. The older the children they get, the more and longer they are online. Parents of younger children often ask themselves: 'What can I do for my children to make surfing, chatting and emailing safer?' At CyberEthics, we wish to approach all issues concerning Internet Safety, the ethical use of mobile phones and new technology in general. This is achieved by informing parents on how to use the internet safely and productively, so that they may protect their children from dangers on the net. One possibility to fight problematic online content is to:
Report online material you consider illegal at SafenetCY Hotline or +357 22674747
It is vital that we all take responsibility for the web and report matters which we believe are illegal. By doing this, we help prevent illegal activities online, such as child pornography, sexual harassment or attempts to lure children via chat, mail or messaging.
The following CyberEthics tips offer preventive protection:
Create a computer log-in for your child
Using the Internet will be even easier if you create a separate user log-in for your child on the computer.
Set a home page for your child
At your child's computer log-in, you can set as the home page a search engine for children or your child's favourite website.
How do I set the home page?
Search engines for children
Interchange the current search engine in the browser with a search engine for children. Using this search engine, children get to know search engines in general and learn how to search for information, yet they won't encounter any problematic content.
List of search engines for children
Create a positive list of websites
For younger children, it is recommended to limit the number of websites they can visit. You can easily create a positive list that entails those websites directly in the browser. Choose only those websites that match your child's age and interests. Together with your child, collect more websites and add them to the list. Thus, the choices will grow and your child will discover new possibilities of the Internet and learn to deal with the new medium.
List of websites developed for children
Bookmark websites as favourites
Young children should only access websites via their list of bookmarks instead of typing the websites themselves. Using bookmarks only, children avoid typing mistakes that can lead to unwanted and problematic results.
How can I book a website as a favourite?
Pay attention to advertisements
Even though your child is interested in TV series, stars, cards or games, pay attention to commercial offers with advertisement not to get out of control. For the creation of a positive list of websites, choose primarily websites which are free of advertisements or clearly mark advertisements.
Set reasonable rules together with your child about using the Internet
Important topics to include in rules are, for example, disclosure of personal information, behavior on the Internet, and which online activities are OK in your family and which ones aren't. Please keep in mind that rules are only effective when kids and teenagers understand the rules and accept them.
Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information
Explain the dangers of airy data forwarding to your child. Even though they are designed for children, many of those websites require giving out personal information to access content. A simple rule could be that your child should not give out names, address, phone numbers and pictures without your approval.
Encourage your child to netiquette
Netiquette refers to the informal rules of online behavior. Let's say it simply: Things that are allowed in real life are also allowed in the Internet. Things that are forbidden in real life are also forbidden in the Internet. Show your child how to respect others and their property online. Explain to your child that rules for accepted behavior don't change just because he/she is on a computer.
Discuss with your child the truthfulness of Internet content
Teach your child that not everything he/she finds online is true. Encourage your child to ask if he/she is not sure. Also show your child how to check the truthfulness of content by comparing with other sources.
Don't forget: Advantages and chances of the Internet outweigh the risks. The Internet is an excellent educational and recreational source for children.
Encourage your child to be conscious and explore the Internet to its full potential.