We are living in the era of high technology, where knowledge is weapon. Internet is an important aspect of technology since it is an information tool that provides people the information they need when they need it. Internet is also a communication tool that allows people to communicate easily and conveniently. Because of this feature, internet becomes an interesting play ground for children and teenagers.
Children and teenagers tend to be far way ahead of parents and adults on the internet. Studies indicated that as the age decreases, the percentage of internet use increases. This is because children encounter the internet technology earlier than their parents, giving them more room and opportunities to learn.
“Blogging”, “Tweeting”, and “Google it” are just some of the few words of the internet language. As parents, we should be familiar with this language so that we can guide our children as they explore the internet. Although internet is a wonderful source of knowledge and information, unfortunately it is also a source of pornographic materials and explicit language not appropriate for children.
The roles of the parents to their children in using the internet are crucial to ensure safe browsing and secure use of the internet. As parents, we are responsible in guiding our children and keeping them away from obnoxious people who love to take advantage of the anonymity and obscurity that internet offers. We should help them identify inappropriate interactions and avoid giving personal information to websites and people. We should also learn how to safeguard our kids from opening explicit and pornographic sites that may put them at risk.
The best way to protect your child and ensure their safety is to play your part. There are several ways to safeguard your children from any internet harm.
- Learn to access the internet. How can you protect your child from something you don’t understand? If you think you are too old to learn on your own, you should seek help from professionals or even from someone who knows how. You don’t have to be an expert; you just need to know the basics.
- Use protection. You can use an online service or software that will give you parental control to the sites that your child can access.
- Set the computer area. Place your computer in areas where you can see what your child is doing. Avoid placing the computer in your child’s room.
- Observe. Try to observe the amount of time your child spends in front of the computer. Do not allow your child to spend excessive hours online. Check your child’s activities online.
- Privacy. Discuss with your child the importance of privacy and the potential harms of revealing personal information.
- Communicate. Talk to your child. Set rules and guidelines in using the internet. Encourage your child to be honest at all times.
It may be simple, but the roles that you are playing as a parent is important in maintaining the well being of your child. Internet may seem to be harmless, but it is in fact a very powerful tool that may help or harm your child.