7 things parents should do to protect their children against the dangers of the Internet:
- Take personal responsibility for your children’s security on the Internet. Discuss with them what is acceptable when using the Internet and what isn’t.
- Educate yourself. Keep up-to-date on how people use the Internet:
a. learn how to use the Internet tools your children use (chatrooms, MSN etc.);
b. keep an eye on your children’s habits and those of their friends when using the Internet – check log histories to see what your children have been doing on the Internet;
c. identify the sites you are OK with your children visiting;
d. identify the sites you are not OK with your children visiting; and
e. make sure you know who to talk to if there are any problems.
- Talk to your children! Tell them about the opportunities the Internet represents, but also about the dangers. Visit interesting websites with them. Take an active interest in what your children are doing online. Explain to them that they have to behave just as politely on the Internet as they do at home and at kindergarten or school.
- Put your computer in a room you all use (such as the living room). That way you’ll have a better idea of how your children are using it.
- Set some ground rules with your children and make sure that both you and they are following them.
- Encourage your children to tell you if something happens with the computer or on the Internet.
- Always bear in mind that a computer is no substitute for a parent!