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Teach Your Kids Safe Internet Use with These Methods

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Computers and the internet are brilliant tools for your children's education. But it's natural to worry about how safe they are. Anything could happen, from them talking to the wrong person to accidentally using your credit card. But if you're worried about something happening, the answer isn't to ban them from using the internet. Instead, you should learn how to keep them safe and teach them how they can protect themselves too. If you don't know where to start, use this guide to make sure your kids don't get into any trouble.
Use Parental Controls
The first thing you should do is use parental controls on your computer to stop your kids wandering onto inappropriate sites. They won't necessarily do this on purpose. It's easy to stumble into anything from gambling to explicit images without intending to. You should use software to protect both your computer and your children. It will block dodgy websites and prevent viruses from infecting your machine. You can do the same thing on tablets and mobile phones too.
Choose Acceptable Websites
For younger children, it's best to choose a list of websites that you will allow them to go on. You can set up the computer for them and navigate to different sites if they want to do something else. There are lots of things they can do, from educational sites to games. Choose games websites like Playberry or educational sites like How Stuff Works, so they have plenty to keep them entertained. When they're a bit older, they can start exploring for themselves.
Supervise Their Use
With younger children, you should watch them while they use the internet to make sure they don't do anything they shouldn't. However, as they get older, there needs to be a point where you trust them to use the internet alone. It's not a good idea to watch everything they do all the time. However, you might still ask that they only use laptops and tablets in communal areas, instead of hidden away in their room.
Talk to Them About Internet Safety
When it's time for children to take responsibility for their own safety, they need to know what to and what not to do. To make sure they can protect themselves, it's important to talk to them about internet safety from the beginning. They'll also learn about the topic at school, but it never hurts to check that they understand and implement your own rules. Learning about safety on the internet needs to be an ongoing journey, not just one lesson or conversation.
Be Careful with Social Networks and Email
One of the things you need to be very wary of is social networking and chat rooms. It's important that your children know they should only talk to people they know. If they must have an email address or social network profile, only allow them to accept friend requests from people they're friends or family with in real life.
Navigating the internet is difficult for a parent, but if you know how to be safe, you can pass that knowledge on to your children. Teach them how to be responsible and they will use the Internet as an educational and fun tool.

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