Internet Safety

The Five Most Important Things You Need To Know About Kids And The Internet

8 Comments 25 March 2008

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photo via Blaugh

The Internet can be a fun place but it can also be dangerous. It is a lot of work to monitor, limit, and oversee the time kids spend on it but in the end, it is well worth the added protection and peace of mind for a parent. Here are five things every parent needs to know when it comes to their kids and Internet Safety.

1. Almost everyone lies on the Internet - From age to e-mails, from looks to jobs, everyone at some point lies on the Internet. The reasons are endless and folks are full of justifiable excuses no matter how innocent it may seem but the fact remains, you can trust no one that you don’t really know.

2. No one is totally safe on the Internet - No matter how many firewalls or parental controls one sets up once a profile is set, anyone can have access, even through another’s account. The best way to protect your kids is to keep a close watch on your child while they spend their time on the Internet.

3. Inappropriate content does not always make kids feel uncomfortable - Unfortunately, when it comes to kids and hormones, what adults would consider “bad” does not always make a kid feel uncomfortable. Inappropriate content sightings can occur on any computer, as any Internet user knows and it is important to let kids know exactly what is and what is not acceptable on the Internet. Even in classrooms kids have been found accessing sites that contain porn, violent content, games, music sharing and hate sites. Lack of moderating by a parent or teacher is key.

4. Kids are never to young to be cyberbullied - Cyberbullying can be more damaging than even playground bullying. There is more permanence in the written word and the appeal of no accountability on the Internet can cause kids to act in ways they otherwise would never do. To make matters worse, there is the concern now of adults harassing kids on the Internet. According to i-Safe, 53% of teens admitted they had said hurtful things to someone online, while 7% said they did it “quite often”. Cyber bullying is on its way to becoming a full fledged crime with up to a year in prison so keep a close watch on your kids and who they are connecting with.

5. No doesn’t always mean no on the Internet - How many times have you asked to be taken off of some list only to be contacted again and again? The same thing goes for the Internet. Just because someone un-subscribes or cancels an account does not mean your registration information is thrown away forever. Quite the contrary in fact, and many things can happen as a result. Your information could be sold to who-knows-where if it hasn’t been already, you could be personally contacted about your membership cancellation with pressure to re-join, or simply be listed to receive a lifelong supply of spam e-mails. Just because an account is deleted does not mean that information about you is not on other person’s account.

There is a delicate balance between “spying” and “knowing” what your child is doing on-line. Spying is not a form of communication and it is important that we, as parents, break down the communication barriers with our kids and really talk with them about where they are going on the Internet, who they are participating in the social networks with, and how much time they are spending on-line. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, their safety is more important than their privacy!

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Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. You got good points here. As parents of the cyberage kids, we must accept the fact that Internet is a friend of kids but…but it can be an enemy too.

    In fact, I also made a post around 3 months ago to remind all parents when their child likes to blog.

    Thanks!

  2. Jenny says:

    great points. and i totally agree with all of it.

  3. Hexfire says:

    Some really good points here for any parents in the digital world. Good work.

  4. Anthony says:

    Excellent post. I recommend that anyone who reads this pass it along to anyone with kids.

  5. It is a scary new world out there. I’m VERY glad that I didn’t have internet access when I was a young teen girl. Bad things probably would have happened.

    I don’t think that everyone lies though. I don’t. I’m an open book. Can’t think of one place where I’ve lied online. I’m sort of pathologically honest … to the point of hurting feelings sometimes. :)

    But I do realize that some people become “different” when they get online. I’m the same ol’ gal online and in person.

  6. socialmediamom says:

    castocreations That is good to know that there is at least some honesty on the Internet. :) I think that sometimes people lie just to protect themselves whether it be fake e-mails or whatever. It’s too bad that we have to worry so much about our safety while at the same time try to trust. It is a real catch 22.

  7. kathkKKathery j says:

    My 11 year old is experiencing the adult cyberbully= mother and older sister’s onslaught of demeaning insults, putdowns, veiled threats to intimidate her. My daughter (although her statement aught to have been a private message,) very clearly explained with a sense of her friendship to another 6th grader that many of her friends are ignoring her because she acts like a bossy snob. My child even reinforced her being a friend. She made only the one post and one more- of a weeping emoticon after some 44 comments, including responses from members of both sides familys…and sad as it is to say, the girl’s alleged stuck up snob attitude is a totally learned behavior…as exemplified by her arrogant mother and sister. I have taken it to the school, and if they make no move on it today, I’m forwarding my information to the state attorney generals’ office. but what an ordeal I’ll follow up when something more can be added..like a prescedence setting case making a public example of this so called mom.


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