There are many stories on the news about dangerous people looking for children on the internet. Many sites including gaming ones have been known to have had adults posing as children online. You might think that your children should never be allowed online, but at some point, they may need to go on there for homework or to contact friends. But how do you know that they are old enough to be allowed online?
Are They Responsible?
One of the things you need to think about is how responsible they are. You need to be able to trust that they will know right from wrong and alert you if anything happens while they are online. If you think that they are still slightly naïve and perhaps don’t understand what dangers there are, then perhaps this isn’t the best time.
Have They Been Well Informed?
Many schools now offer education to teach children how to be safe online. They go through all the ways that children can be in danger including chat rooms and teach them how to report any problems. If your children have been through this lesson and they understand what the dangers are, then they may be old enough to start going online.
What Are They Playing?
Most of the time criminals who try to speak to children do so on chat rooms that are connected to online games. These chat rooms often don’t have good moderation, so someone can easily go on there pretending to be a child. You need to know what games they are playing and do some research into the ways they prevent unknown people using the chat. It might be that you are happy for them to go online so long as they don’t use certain sites.
Using Safety Software
For those that are worried about their children accessing sites when they are not around, there is software that you can use to protect their surfing. All you need to do is place the sites you don’t want them to access onto the list, and it will restrict access to those sites. It is a great way to keep them safe, and it can also be used for other sites you might want to restrict.
What to Do if Something Happens?
If you or your child experiences something that they feel is suspicious, or any form of online bullying then it is important that you contact the site owners as soon as possible. You should also think about contacting the police as well if the situations require it. It might be that they or the site owner may call in a specialized company like Secure Data Recovery so they can find any trace of the person on the system.
There are many ways that you can help your children with their online safety. Teaching them about how to use a computer and how to use the internet goes a long way to helping them deal with the problems they encounter. It will give them a good foundation to take forward into adult life.