As the summer break comes to a close and children are getting ready to return to school, parents and school supervisors should think of their safety especially during their time on the World Wide Web aka the Internet. We give some important safety tips and resources for parents on the use of the Internet, cyber bullying and sex offenders online. We hope these will allow parents to become proactive when it comes to protecting children and keeping them safe.
It is vital for parents and school staffs to stay involved in children’s online presence, especially to monitor and highlight what activities should they be involved in. Who are their online friends? How much time they spend on their computer or smart phone? What are they able to access on their computer or smart phone? What are they sharing with their online and school friends?
Today technology has advanced to an extent that cell phones that are internet and digital image enabled are in use by both by parents and children giving access to the Internet, taking and sharing photographs, photographs. These also give easy access to popular sites for children to communicate with others include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Kik.
Parents and School staff need to speak with children about the dangers of taking personal, intimate pictures and sharing them with others, even their best friends and emphasize that once a photograph is shared, it is out of the child’s hands and may be posted on websites, altered, copied and even if not, cell phones maybe hacked and data copied. Internet predators have become sophisticated and prey on children and their need for attention. Everyone must be proactive in monitoring children’s text messages, emails, photographs, Internet and cell phone activity.
Information on protecting your family from inappropriate websites, and parental controls to minimize a child’s exposure is available at: http://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/.
Sex offenders – In the U.S. it is an important aspect for the whole family to be cognizant of and to know where a registered sex offender is residing in their community. This information is easily accessible on different community and county websites. People can also sign up to receive email alerts about sex offender movements, etc.
Cyberbullying – It has been reported that about one-third of online pre- to teens between the ages of 12 – 17, have been cyberbullied in which information technology is used to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner, with girls being more likely to be targeted than boys. Bullying can quickly get out of control and negatively affect a child’s emotional, physical and mental state. What should you do if you believe your child is being bullied on the Internet or at school? Contact the school administration and law enforcement immediately. Beginning this year, additional school resource officers will be in many of our schools. Take the time to introduce yourself to your child’s school resource officer.
Online predators – These are people who commit child sexual abuse that begins or takes place on the Internet with Internet-initiated sex crimes involving deceit and even violence. These generally begin with adult strangers known as internet predators communicating with children and young teenagers over the Internet and then leading up to meeting face to face to lead to indecent acts. Chat rooms, instant messaging, Internet forums, social networking sites, cell phones, and even video game consoles have all attracted online predators.
Author Bio: Sera has been writing about a wide array of topics related to technology, parenting and relationship. She tend to cover most of its bases for the benefit of her readers.