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The internet is one of the most impressive and pervasive communication tools the human race has ever created. However, it also carries its own set of risks, especially for young users.
The internet isn’t all bad, but predatory individuals can use the internet to harm people, while malicious software and spyware can steal personal information from your computer. As such, it’s important to understand how you can protect your children when they’re online.
Online interaction is a great way for children to build friendships and explore their interests, and the risks shouldn’t get in the way of that. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your kid’s safety as they browse the web.
Invest in reliable antivirus software with parental control features
The best antivirus programs available also feature extensive suites of parental control features. For example, you can instruct the software to filter out inappropriate search results when your child is browsing the web and even block specific sites.
You can also set limits on the amount of time your child spends online and how much data they can download. In other words, antivirus and parental control software packages can help protect your child on all possible fronts.
The ability to block sites and filter search results protects them from seeing inappropriate content and reduces the risk of them interacting with predatory people on certain sites while the ability to limit the amount of data they can download minimises the possibility of them accidentally downloading spyware or malware.
Finally, limiting the amount of time they can spend on line through parental controls can help prevent them from becoming overly dependent on online interaction.
Check their internet history
It’s not always possible for you to be physically present while your child uses the internet, but you can check to see what sites they’ve been on and assess the risk of those sites for yourself. If your child has encountered any inappropriate content or been on sites where they might meet someone predatory or untrustworthy, it’s better for you to know about it as soon as possible.
By checking your child’s internet search history on a daily or weekly basis, you can spot any potential issues and talk to your child about them before they develop into real problems.
Remember that education is key
In reality, the most effective thing you can do to protect your child from the threats of the web is to educate them about those threats. Teach your child how to protect themselves from dangerous web-users by never giving their full name or sending photographs of themselves. Teach them to guard against malware by always asking your permission before they download anything onto the computer.
Most importantly, teach them that they can always come to you if they’re having problems online: cultivate an atmosphere of trust and openness so that they know you’ll always be able to protect them if they get into trouble in the online world.