Important Internet Safety Tips for Kids - Part I
By Andrew Loh
The invention of personal computers and internet, are perhaps the most
significant inventions of the 20th century. These two important
inventions have been the most potent tools of communication, those
assist people across the world, to link together to exchange and share
information. They also provide an easy access to humungous volumes of
information located at different parts of the world. With all those
innumerable advantages and benefits, internet could also be a seedy and
potentially dangerous place for people, especially small and young children.
Internet could be a great place for children. They can use internet to
browse for useful information, research web sites for preparing school
reports, communicate with teachers and friends, as well as play
interactive games. In fact, children can get an access to a huge volume
of data, just by typing few letters on the keyboard. Of late, parents
introduce their children to internet at an early age, either to show
online learning resources or to play small interactive games like Disney
or Dora. When the children are very young, parents will have complete
control over what their children get to see on the screen. However, as
their children become older, parent may gradually relinquish the extent
of control. Parents may exercise some form of control over their
children's usage of internet, however, it may not enough to control
their children misusing the internet facility.
Unlimited and uncontrolled access to internet can pose extreme danger to
your children. Take the following example. A ten year child may want to
research information for a topic with a title - "Lego". Children are
always very poor in typing. Just with one misspelled keystroke, they can
enter the word, "Legs", instead of "Lego". This misspelled word can be
very dangerous, because with that word, children may navigate to myriad
kinds of web sites that focus on "Legs". In fact, many of these sites
contain sleazy and pornographic textual and visual materials. This is
the reason, why it is critical for every parent to control what their
children see, listen or hear on their computers.
Today is the age of communication, when everyone who is computer savvy
subscribes to one or the other social networking websites (facebook,
twitter...etc) or chat messengers. While these web portals are quite
useful for people to exchange ideas and dialogues, they could be
potential sources of cheating and cyber-bullying by unscrupulous people.
You might have heard of many stories about young children who fell into
trap set by faceless criminals, who constantly roam around social
networking and chat portals.
Internet has both positive and negative aspects attached to it. Careful
usage of internet is always beneficial to the user. However, you cannot
expect such things from young children, as their mind is weak,
vulnerable and subject to constant online threats. Today's children are
internet savvy and online smart, though their usage pattern is still
immature. Parents will need to be aware of many things, where their
children could land themselves into situations of dangers. Following are
some of the areas or activities, where your children could get into
Online friendship: Making a new friend is a very easy activity
for children. In fact, children of varying ages are known to crowd
social networking and chatting sites to make new friends. However, the
so called new friends may not be good friends to them; they could be
people with presumed identities or online aliases.
Sharing information and personal details: Children are known to
share their personal details like home addresses, e mail IDs and phone
numbers. They may even share their videos and photos with their net
friends. Online profiles could be misleading, because online predators
are known to search constantly for online profiles of potentially weak
and gullible children.
Adult and pornographic web sites: Bad and inferior online content
is very common in the world of internet. There are hundreds of thousands
of sexual and adult content oriented web sites that could spoil the
young minds of children. Children can easily navigate to such web sites.
Online shopping: Excessive internet usage may make children
materialistic. Children are known to visit e commerce sites that sell
toys and other materials online. Children are naturally attracted to
such sites, because they can easily touch and grasp their young minds.
The immense challenges displayed by internet could be both positive and
negative. Responsible internet usage is always beneficial to your
children. On the other hand, irresponsible and careless internet use can
lead to undesirable situations that could even pose great danger.
Learning how to use the internet facility depends largely on to what
degree or extent you train your children in responsible internet
surfing. Parents have a big responsibility on their shoulders,
especially in how they train their children in the art of responsible
internet usage. Continue to read
Important Internet Safety Tips for Kids - Part II.