Monitoring your kids’ use of the internet by sitting with them is the most ideal way to keep them away from all the threats possible online. But this isn’t possible all the time. So, to make sure that your kids are safe using the internet when you aren’t around, there are a number of internet safety rules that your kids should know.
1. Follow the specific time to use the computer. Explain to them why there is a need to set internet time. Let them develop obedience as a virtue and a sense of responsibility for their actions.
2. Never share personal information with strangers you meet online. These include name, home address, phone number, email address, password, school information, bank account information, and credit card numbers. Online predators are everywhere and their main targets are your kids who are innocently giving their personal information that can put their safety on the line.
3. Never engage in online gambling. Gambling is simply, taking risks. And most of the time the risks are high.
4. Use a pseudo name or nickname when using instant messaging or entering chat rooms.
5. Avoid filling out online contests, surveys, and registration forms. They ask for too much personal information including email addresses. Take note that spammers can collect email addresses from the web using programs such as bots, crawlers, and spiders.
6. Never open, download attachments, and reply to emails from unknown senders. The best way for spammers to know if the addresses are correct is by receiving a reply. So teach your kids to remove spam immediately from their inbox. Also, attachments from spam usually contain viruses that can cause damage to your file and computer.
7. Stay in moderated public chatrooms and avoid private chats. This will keep your kids away from harassing other people.
8. Teach them to ask permission first before meeting up with someone you meet online. The rule of thumb is clear: never trust anyone you meet online. People may not be who they say they are.
9. Check before downloading anything. There are free downloadable programs on the internet with free spyware and viruses as well. Ask your parents first about the program even if the programs come from reputable sites.
10. If you see some images or web content that are disturbing, tell your parents right away.