Now and days, there are many children and young teenagers that use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and more. They love to use these sites to keep in touch with their friends, make new ones, join groups with people of similar interests, be creative, and express themselves. While the internet and social networking sites can be a lot of fun, there can also be potential dangers involved, as you never know who else is on these sites.
Making sure that kids and teenagers are aware of the potential dangers online is a big help. However parents or guardians need to be more involved in keeping them safe when they’re online. Here are some some safety tips for keeping your child safe on social networking sites.
Make Household Internet Rules And Enforce Them.
Children and teenagers who use the internet should have ground rules. They may not like these rules, bu they are there to keep them safe and reduce the potential danger they may face. Some rules parents or guardians could consider are as follows:
– Do not post any personal information online. This includes their full name, phone number, address, or even a school location. Keeping this information off of the internet will prevent stalking from an online predator who knows where the child lives or attends school.
– Prevent overuse of the internet and limit their use to specific hours during the day.
– Do not agree to let them meet any online friends in person without permission. If granted permission, you should accompany your child to this meeting and make sure it takes place in a public, well-lit location, such as a coffee shop or a cafe. Never go to a secluded area, such as the individual’s home.
– Tell your children to ignore any time of bad behavior such as harassment or threats and report them. This type of behavior can reported to parents and the Internet service provider. Responding to the harassment or threats can cause the situation to become worse and possibly harmful.
– Only allow your children to use the internet on a computer where you can monitor their activity. The family room or kitchen would be a more suitable place than the child’s bedroom.
Monitor What They Are Doing Online.
Keeping your child safe on social networking sites means monitoring what they are doing when online and using these sites. Parents need to be sure that the interactions they have with others are not potentially dangerous. If their child is interacting with an older individual, then their parents should be concernt. This is especially important if this individual takes part in any activities that are inappropriate for the child. These individuals may be a negative influence on the child. If they see their child is interacting with someone like this, then they need to have their child cut ties with them immediately, as they may have a hidden agenda for the child or teenaher.
Both the parents and children also need to be made aware that the person the child is interacting with may not be honest about who they really are. For example, a child may think they are talking to someone who is around their age, but in reality, they could be talking to someone who is much older. Parents should also monitor these interactions and look for suspicious behavior from the individual or suggestions of meeting up in person. Once again, this suspicious or lying individual may trick the child and have a hidden agenda for them.
Review the Terms of Service.
Follow these guidelines and monitor what your child does on the internet, as they are a big help at keeping your child safe on social networking sites. If you do take these tips into consideration, the this can reduce or eliminate the chances of your children being put into a dangerous situation.
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