Cyber Safety and Your Child

captureThe child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers discuss important factors regarding your child’s safety with the cyber world.

In a world where technology is so readily available, there is a need for safety when it comes to your children and the Internet. Follow along for ways to ensure that your child is surfing the web as carefully as possible.

Oversee Internet Use and Model Online Responsibility

The easiest way to know what your children are doing online is to be right there with them while they browse. They may learn their online behaviors from you, so it is always a good idea to model for them how to use search engines safely and select the most appropriate results. Share your spam-blocking techniques with them and if they’re old enough, walk them through rejecting emails and online inquiries from unrecognizable sources.

Creating a series of easily accessible bookmarks is another excellent way to direct your child’s online explorations. Consider bookmarking sites that are child-friendly and pinning them to the navigation bar of your internet browser. If your child can easily access the site with one click of the mouse, they are less likely to seek out the use of a search engine.

Establish Internet Ground Rules

  • Place your computer in a common area for the family where you can keep an eye on activities
  • Schedule specific times for each child to use the computer
  • Create one email account for the family – this way you can monitor emails coming and going
  • Be sure your child knows never to provide any personal information to any site
  • Prevent your child from entering chat rooms as there is no way to establish who your child is speaking with online
  • If your child turns off or attempts to hide the screen they are using, be sure to investigate what they are hiding
  • If your child uses abbreviations you are unfamiliar with, look them up

Cover Your Bases

Be sure that your child’s school, your family and the parents of your child’s friends are aware of your rules regarding your child’s internet privileges. It is important for everyone to remain on the same page when it comes to your child’s web access.

Keep in mind that the internet can be accessed on other devices besides computers. Mobile phones, gaming consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, Wii and tablets all have the potential for internet access. If you have chosen to restrict access to certain sites, be sure that access is restricted across all devices and platforms.

If your child mentions anything that made them uncomfortable online, be sure to investigate. Contact your service provider and/or local police if someone is reaching out to your child in a way that is not acceptable.

Use Available Resources

Most internet service provider packages offer the ability to block sites that are not child-friendly. Contact your provider to see if this is an option, and subsequently block any programs you do not want your child to access. There are programs that you can enable to automatically install blocking and tracking software on your computer.

If you are looking for additional ways to ensure the safety of your child’s online activity, contact Celebree Learning Centers for any additional resources on cyber safety today.