Protecting your kids when they are online browsing the Internet is not an easy task. There are however a few simple steps that the parents can follow to keep their kids safe when they are in front of the computer.
Take a decision if your kid is old enough to use the Internet.
As a parent, visit several sites for kids to find out if they collect personal information or not. Then block the content that is not appropriate. How can you do that? The Parental Controls of Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 offer rich features that help the parents monitor and manage the computer of their children and thus to keep them safe. There is also Xbox parental control that the parent can use in order to restrict the ability of the child to watch movies with inappropriate content or to pay such games.
Increase the privacy and the security.
The parents should also block certain downloads and websites that can risk the privacy of their children. Further to that, the parents can:
- Create different user accounts on the computer with specific password for each user. Thus the user will get own Desktop and private folder My Documents. The parents can have an Administrative account and the kids can have user accounts that are limited. With a limited user account the kids cannot install new software or hardware including chats, games, and media players different than the ones that are installed.
- Adjust the security settings of the browser. The parents can protect their kids by applying certain security settings on the browser.
- Limit the downloads. The computers are often exposed to various unwanted software programs by downloads of free music, games, toolbars, etc. The kids can be taught not to download software coming from untrusted sources or at least to ask you as parents for permission.
- Use Antispyware and Antivirus software. Parents should learn how to use the Microsoft Security Essentials in order to detect and remove spyware.
Monitor your children when they are online.
Parents cannot always be around when their kids are browsing the Internet; however they should be able to check the browsing history of their kids. Before they allow their kids to use the Internet, the parents should apply the parent controls.
Teach your children not to talk to strangers online.
Just as parents have taught their children not to speak with strangers in real life, they should do so when Internet is concerned. Children nowadays use the social networks and the real time chats to build friendships and to discuss their interests but they should do so only with people they know in real life. Otherwise, kids can become victims of predators. They should be taught never to present themselves with their real names, but rather to use a nickname or a first name only; never to give their address or phone number, never to send photographs of them and never ever to meet people they have met online without being supervised. Parents can set the software of the computer to allow messages only from contacts that they have approved.
Talk to your children.
Parents should talk to their kids about all the problems the children have and the different situations they face every day. The kids should feel comfortable to go to their parents and to reveal their thoughts without being pressed. The parents have to tell the children all the dangers that are out there in the online world and teach them how to protect themselves and stay on the alert.