Safety In Cyberspace.

Safety in Cyberspace - How To Protect Your Children .

Safety in cyberspace is an essential issue for all parents to address in this age where many resources for improving children's literacy and numeracy skills are accessed online. Children now spend a lot of time on the internet using various devices. As a parent it is important for you to ensure that their time on the web is used constructively and not in areas that will put your child at risk.

Safety in Cyberspace

Everyone knows that growing up is tough.  We all remember the lessons we learned and the challenges we faced as we grew and matured, but the current generation of children are faced with a challenge that we never did…cyberspace.  The internet is a wonderful tool, but it can also be a dangerous place for children.  Cyberspace is full of inappropriate sites, cyberbullies, and predator, and parents need to be aware of the risks.  

There are steps that parents can take to ensure their child’s safety in cyberspace:

Educate Your Child

The first thing that parents should do is make sure that their children know about some of the risks that are lurking.  Be sure that they know that they should never give out personal information to anyone they meet online, and that they should let you know immediately if someone is asking them for information about their names, where they live, how old they are, or to send them pictures.

Keep The Computer Visible

Parents should keep the computer in a central location, like the living room or family room, so that they can monitor their child’s activity.  Checking the history can give you a good idea of the sites that they frequent, and knowing their habits is another good way to keep them safe.

Get Yourself Comfortable Online

Social media can be an area where a lot of bullying can occur.  Make yourself a Facebook and Twitter account if your child has one, and follow or friend them.  You can read the comments being made and intervene if you sense that any bullying is happening. 

Install Filtering Software

There are software programs available which provide an extra layer of protection for children on the internet and are easy for parents to install.  These filters can blocks not only pornographic sites, but also sites that encourage violence, gambling, drugs, hate/racism, phishing, and other dangerous or inappropriate content. 

As in most cases, education is a parent’s best weapon.  By taking a few precautions, and educating both yourself and your child, you can ensure your children’s safety in cyberspace.

 

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Irene Reardon

Irene holds a Bachelor of Science (Applied Psychology), and Certificate in TESOL and a Certificate in the Teaching of Children with Dyslexia. Fifteen years experience in developing education programs and resources for Early Childhood and Primary Educators.

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