How to Keep Your Child Safe on the Internet
As with the real world, the Internet has its dangers – and it’s all too easy for kids to stray towards them. Inappropriate content, misinformation and predators flourish online. Set up clear rules to make sure your child is safe everyday she or he is using the internet.
1. Step into their cyberworld – Parents have to get involved. It may be hard to keep your eyes open after visiting what seems like the 100th website devoted to Barbie, but playing copilot to your child is the best way to make sure she gets a smooth ride. By the time she’s 7, you won’t need to be glued to her side, but you should be somewhere in the room or checking in frequently.
2. Set house rules – Decide how much time you’re comfortable with your children being online and which sites they may go to. So there’s no confusion, talk about the rules and the consequences for breaking them.
3. Know that location is the key – Keep the computer in a central spot, where it’s easy to monitor its use.
4. Be their go-to guide – Instruct your child to come straight to you when she sees anything that makes her uncomfortable, and assure her that you won’t overreact, blame her, or immediately rescind her online privileges.
5. Tune up your search engine – Your search engine can be pressed into service for free. (But be aware: A savvy child could switch the settings back.) Once you set restrictions, Google will block sites with explicit material). AltaVista puts several types of offensive content off-limits with its Family Filter.
Crestview Preparatory School is deeply concerned about safety and well-being of all students. Last March they held an in-depth discussion of age-appropriate media, privacy concerns and how values shape our technology habits with Dr. Lincscott, Dr. Chaves and Head of School Baudelia Taylor, which helped parents and caregivers to learn more about how to keep their kids safe while navigating the web.
Crestview Preparatory School is located at 140 Foothill Boulevard in La Canada. Call (818) 952-0925 or visit www.crestviewprep.org.