As parents – or relatives, teachers and other adults responsible for children’s safety – we want our children to be healthy, happy and to develop well both physically and mentally. Above all, it’s also instinctive that we want kids to be safe.
Until relatively recently, most homes had a family computer, where parents could safely introduce their children to the internet, keeping an eye on what they were doing and introduce a degree of monitoring and control using parental software. When children started to get their own computers for doing their homework and playing games, it became more difficult to work with them to ensure they were visiting appropriate websites and not talking to strangers online in the privacy of their bedrooms.
Now, of course, in the age of smartphones and tablets, most parents find it a real challenge to not only educate their children in doing the right thing, but monitor and control their online behaviour.
Our children are certainly at a vulnerable stage in their lives. They are naturally more trusting than adults and hopefully having been less exposed to the darker side of the internet. They are also not as well equipped to deal with such issues – or their consequences. Over the next four blogs we will be looking at some of these potential issues:
- Inappropriate contact
- Inappropriate conduct
- Inappropriate content
- Gaining access to your personal information
- Viruses and spyware
Look at sites like www.getsafeonline.org for further advice for parents.