Mobile Geeks computer repairs experts are often asked about child safety online, here we will tell what we know.
As a parent, you breath easier when your child is at home, but in our day and age, physical presence in the house no longer means he or she is safe and inaccessible to bad-wishers. Thanks to the internet, your child has access to untold information and knowledge and on the other hand, to dangers like pornography, predators and other’s ideas (which can be no less dangerous) even in the confines of his or her own room. I have put together a few tips on how you can make the world safer for your kids:
If you do not know it, you can not protect from it. Firstly, however, strange it may sound, you need to learn about what is out there that can hurt your baby. You will also need to learn how technology works. This will help you to know what he/she is up to. Do not underestimate how savvy your kid is with technology. You have no idea what they can do with those electronic devices they have grown up with and so often, seem hardwired into. It would make sense to ask a friend with computer expertise to help out. If there no such friends available, you can call any computer repairs company and ask for an educational visit. Mobile Geeks do such visits fairly regularly. If you are an independent sort of person, start by reading up on internet safety, internet security, internet jargon and other basic courses, and go from there.
2. Teach your kids
They may certainly think that they know it all, but you and I both know that they are like that only until they figure out that what they do not know is infinitely more than what they know. And pray patience be our virtue until they get there! So, even if they know everything, and even if they can easily make you feel like a total outdated fool where technology is concerned, chances are, they do not know how to recognise danger online and do not know how to keep safe from it. They have no experience in adult life and may just have enough patience to listen to you when you tell them a thing or two about the grizlier parts of adult world. This may scare them a bit but, a bit of caution is always good. Now that you have got their attention with the horror stories, you can teach them a few rules of staying safe online….If someone with street teenage cred can teach these rules, that might give your message more power.
These are the rules
- Never reveal your real name to anyone on the internet, no matter what. Instead, use a nickname.
- If you see something on your computer that makes you feel uncomfortable (Define uncomfortable. This is no place to be shy, you kid needs to know), like maybe a picture or message, tell your parents or teacher immediately.
- Never ever share any personal information with anyone (Define personal information. You will be amazed what they consider to be unimportant stuff). Never reveal details like your age, phone number, home address or even school.
- Do not reveal your passwords to anyone, not even your BFF.
- If anyone you have never met before wants to meet you in person, say no and immediately tell your parents or teacher. The person you are dealing with might just be pretending to be a kid like you, and could actually be an adult with really bad ideas.
3. Have a family computer
Yes, they all want their own computers, iPads, iPhones and all of those devices have internet access. However, if you can withstand the pressure, say NO to all of that until you cannot hold out any longer, it may help you keep them safer. Try to have a family computer that is placed in a common area. This will allow you to be ‘in charge ‘ of the computer and that will help you keep an eye on what the apple of yours is up to. Kids are a lot less willing to engage in conversations that feel dangerous in front of the parents…and no such conversations is what you want to achieve.
4. Limit internet access
The internet access should be full on the common family computer (there has to be a carrot to make them use it). However, if you have given in and there is an iPad, iPhone, etc per kid, ask a computer repair expert to limit access to internet and especially certain parts of the internet. If you are happy with DIY, what you will need is net-filtering software to keep questionable content out of the computer and other online devices. These are not everything one would wish for but, they do get the job done. Based on our experience, Mobile Geeks do not recommend this approach for older kids. Heavy-handed rules could negatively affect your relationship with them and it may make it harder to know what they are doing in their lives.
5.Set up a firewall
You can also limit content and keep out child predators by setting up a firewall, which controls two-way traffic. Many computer operating systems have built-in software firewalls. You may want to set it up yourself (it is not too difficult), ask a friend to help or call a computer geek.
6. Focus on being a parent not a spy
You can keep detailed tabs on your children’s browser histories and temporary internet files, or fill your computer with the most expensive net-filtering software, but there is no substitute for child-parent relationship and trust. You need to have the kind of relationship where they can tell you things. Even those things they are uncomfortable sharing. No computer repairs expert or fancy software can ever achieve that!
Over and out