Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping Children Safe Online

English: Military Child Education Coalition (M...Image via WikipediaAnyone can write a blog and with the popularity of the internet, children are now joining the blogging world. Kids use computers to keep in touch with friends and research school project. Now they are discovering the ability to vent and express themselves online through blogs. Plus, some kids just think it's cool to say they have their own blog and can try to get all their friends to find it. On the other hand, some children are very computer savvy and even know how to make money from blogging.
It is important for parents to monitor all things their children do online and to understand that children can figure out how to do things online that parents may have never thought of.
Parents should ask their children if they want to create a blog and discuss it. Children always need to understand internet safety and what information should not be given out such as address or phone number. Children should even be careful giving their full name or school name to anyone online. Tell your children to never reveal personal information and explain to them why. There are a lot of people online that may not be who they say they are. The internet can actually be dangerous and children not to understand that
If a child wants to start a blog, a parent should help them. Content has to be limited. Children shouldn't disclose too much or they may end up regretting it. Blogging rules should be given and a parent may have to check the blog from time to time to make sure everything follows the rules given. Kids may not be happy about their parents reading their blog, but it is necessary. Reviewing a child's blog helps a parent know if their children are being safe or not. Parents should not tell their children when they are going to review the blog or the child may delete things. It is easy to make changes on blogs and children may not understand why internet safety is such a big deal.
Nowadays, many children have their own computers. However, if the family shares a computer, it is important to see what children are viewing. This can easily be done by checking the history. However, children are computer smart and could be deleting items from the history. A child's blog may be appropriate, but they could be reading inappropriate blogs written by others. Parents need to at least talk to their children and figure out what websites they frequent. Most websites and blogs do allow comments. Parents can check these websites and see if their child left any comments.
Parents may feel uncomfortable about having to monitor their children, and the children definitely will not like it, but it's important. Monitoring what a child is doing online can keep them safe.
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