In the past, children used to spend most of their time outside playing. Nowadays, the majority of kids are using technology as a way to entertain themselves. However, the internet is not always a safe place, especially for children. As a parent, it's your duty to shelter them from the dangers that the internet possesses. Here's how to protect your kids in the digital age.
Talk to Them
The best way to keep your children safe online is by talking to them. Open lines of communication allow both you and your child a chance to talk about what you feel is and is not OK when using the internet. You also need to set ground rules and let your child know that these regulations are in place for their safety.
In addition to talking to your child about internet safety, you also need to be proactive. Set up parental filters online, and block any site or app that you feel could be dangerous. Note that even if your child is under the age of 18, you also need to ensure he or she isn’t giving out personal information, which could negatively impact his or her credit report.
Getting your child’s credit report online will require a few pieces of information. You'll need to have his or her social security number, date of birth, and any other identifying information. If your children participate in online social groups or online gaming, it's your job to keep them safe. Verify where they're logging into and what information they are putting out into the virtual world.
Be a Good Role Model
Your children look to you as a role model, so you need to practice what you preach. Avoid using the internet or phone apps that are less than savory, including adult-themed websites. It's far too easy for children to gain access even if they don't intend to do so.
Limit the time you spend online and, instead, focus more on face-to-face communication. Far too often, people rely on digital modes for communication even if the person they’re speaking to is in the same house.
Finally, encourage your children to pursue activities that don't require an internet connection. Just like you, they also need human interaction to thrive. This also reduces the risk that many children face when left unattended online.
As a parent, you want to protect your children, both on and offline. Setting boundaries early on, establishing a routine and talking openly with your child is the best way to keep him or her safe in the digital world.
Read this next: Kids Are Always Watching — The Importance of Being a Good Example to Your Children
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