The Internet can be a very scary place. There are a lot of things that happen on the Internet that I do not want my children exposed to. But, how can the average parent go about protecting their children? Through my research and experience, I have come up with a number of ways that you can help to protect your children online. This does not guarantee that they will never be exposed to something questionable. It does, however, help to limit that exposure.
1. No Private Computers
It is fine for your kids to have their own computers but they should be kept in a public location. This means that they do not keep them in their bedrooms. The family rec room or a common office is where they should be. That way, they will not feel as if they have the opportunity to slip one past you.
2. Filter the Internet
There are a lot of good free Internet filters available for free. Make sure that you have either one on each computer or one on your home network that filters all your computers. This will not stop all of the questionable Internet content but it will help to prevent your youngsters from accidentally running across something. Some free Internet filters include:
3. No Internet Without an Adult
You should not let your children on the Internet unless there is a responsible adult available. This means that if your young people are home when you are not, they are not on the Internet. You need to be able to lock the Internet out in order to do this. There are several ways that you can lock out the Internet. Typically, this is done with either software that requires a password or a hardware “key” that you need to put into the computer to give them access.
4. Monitor your Children’s Computer
Periodically, check the web filter logs and your history on your children’s computers. Make sure that you know where they are going and what they are doing.
5. Establish Computer Rules
Create a list of rules for using the computer. Make posters of these rules and post them by the computers. Create a contract that both you and your children sign obligating them to follow the rules.