Tips for Kids Using the Internet
Today’s internet offers a catalogue of creative and sophisticated forms of social interaction. Technological advances have paved the road of easy communication amongst the human race, and the internet has given us a platform to exploit that.
The convenience and array of options serve as a great opportunity, but with opportunity comes risk. It takes a great deal of personal responsibility to use the internet safely.
For teens, tweens, and kids who are just starting to dip their toes into the World Wide Web, some parental supervision, advisory, and guidance are very much recommended as they are sometimes the easiest targets for online predators.
The internet is a great “place”, there’s no denying that, and there are so many great aspects to it. But they can’t experience the good without being aware of and protecting themselves from the bad.
Below you will read some advantages, disadvantages, facts, and tips alike in regards to the internet. The ultimate goal is to prepare you and/or your kids for the world they’re set to immerse in.
The internet has grown to what was believed to be impossible lengths and far surpassed them. It’s an unstoppable force that’s very much a part of our daily lives with no signs of slowing. Your kids will be using the internet in school, with their friends, during leisure time, and beyond.
Not only will it be used in school, it has already become encompassed and integrated into educational curriculums. But do not fret because the advantages apply very much to parents as well. In the very near and foreseeable future, you’ll be able to follow along with lessons and track your child’s progress in real time.
States, districts, schools, and individual teachers have begun rolling out programs for that very purpose. The power of the internet is very relevant to children, but useful to parents at the same time.
Parents, make it fun for your kids to use the computer. Teach them the ins and outs without instilling fear in them. If you help them understand technology and how to use the computer and internet, they’ll want to put in more time learning the pros and cons of it.
Undeniably, internet safety plays a substantial role in internet and computer education. But there’s an endless list of programs and applications that can check off every box on your list. They’ll keep your kids safe while educating them on how to type, surf the web, and operate a computer in general.
There are games and “classes” that are fun, interactive, and still beneficial to them. Consider these programs:
Kids will have the opportunity to graduate from the Webonauts Internet Academy through a series of web safety courses. They will learn basic computer “must dos” like keeping secure passwords and building profiles. It’s a highly interactive program and both kids and their parents will benefit from.
There is an evil villain spamming people all over the internet, and he needs to be stopped! Travel around the world (wide web), test your knowledge, accrue points, and eventually put an end to the bad guy. The internet needs a new hero!
Your typical game of Hangman has been innovated into an internet safety education game. Learn and remember some cyber rules and achieve victory and internet safety!
This easy to use and fun game will help your kid(s) develop internet etiquette. Through a series of questions, they will essentially teach themselves some of the most important information regarding internet safety.
Parents, this one is for you as well! Trek on through your journey on the web, eating the good fish (good URL’s) and refusing the bad ones. Phishing scams are a very real danger on the internet, so this is the first step for kids and anyone with little knowledge on the matter.
Endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this collection of quiz games will educate your children on everything from spyware detection to wireless security and everything else in between. Strengthen your “cyber smartness”, polish your skills on identifying spam, recognize web threats, and keep your personal information safe.
Being knowledgeable on the pros and cons of the internet can and will help your children stay safe during their computer time. A “learn as you go” approach is nothing more than trial and error.
Unfortunately, one mistake could be incredible harmful to your computer, your documents, and potentially your identity too. Young adults and children are more subject to those dangerous risks for a multitude of reasons.
But they all tie back to the notion that they don’t know how to protect themselves; this is partially due in part to them not being educated on internet safety. If your kids are not aware of what could be harmful, there is nothing protecting them from that associated risk.
Take note of these disadvantages and dangers of using the internet and portray them to your kids in a relatable fashion.
Explain to your kids that spamming is when people keep sending you something that you don’t want. Paint them the picture so that they imagine receiving broken gifts on their birthday and on Christmas.
There are so many bad gifts that they can’t even find the good ones, let alone enjoy them. The point is that you don’t want to open any bad gifts under any circumstance, or, in this case, emails.
Similar to how people can get sick with viruses, so can computers. The main difference is there is no medicine that can help cure a computer once it has already contracted the virus.
Outside of the network of computers, viruses spread and get people sick all the time. It has been like that for a long time, and despite advancements in modern medicine, it’s still a very big problem.
With computers, anti-virus programs have gotten stronger and more sophisticated. But viruses still spread, so you need to do everything in your power to prevent them. Be careful of the websites you’re visiting so you don’t cross paths with anything that will make your computer not work as well as it should.
Potential leak of your private information
The internet has become an oversaturated market for schemers and criminals looking to take advantage of anyone and everyone not careful enough to protect themselves. Any time children type in their name, phone number, or address, there’s a possibility that someone is going to steal that information, and that’s private information that only they or their parents should know.
Make sure the websites and programs they’re using are safe and secure. If you’re not sure, dig a little further on Google to find out if the site is appropriate for your children.
The effects of spending too much time on the internet are difficult to understand, especially for new users or young people in general. Studies and tests have proven that too much time on a computer can alter your vision; imagine that in 30 years you can’t see as well as you can now all because you spent too much time on the computer.
People who have suffered from this type of addiction are more likely to become severely overweight, and many of them suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also affect your social interaction skills. And let me tell you that having interpersonal skills are far superior to having computer and internet skills.
Exposure to Adult-Only content
As I’ve already said and continue to enforce, the internet is loaded with information and filled with anything you can possibly think of. A problem can arise when a child encounters something that’s not meant for them to see.
Parents, set filters and settings so that children can access only specific parts of the internet, but nothing is totally unavoidable. It’s important to practice safe web surfing so that your children don’t get into trouble or see something you don’t want them to see.
Remember that none of this information is being delivered to scare or worry you, parents or kids. It’s nothing more than informative and educational. Not all of it is bad or dangerous.
“Pros” of your kids using the internet:
The internet has provided and endless supply of communication platforms. With the most popular being email, video chat, and social media, we have the ability to communicate with one person or millions of people at the mere click of a button.
These services allow all of us to converse with people from down the street, across the country, or on the other side of the world. The internet is global and has no limitations in terms of communication.
Abundance of information, resources, and services
If you have a problem, the internet probably already has a solution for it. Search engines, like Google, permit and encourage internet users to explore any little thing that’s on their minds.
Computers have become the go-to source for breaking news and information, as it’s being updated in real time and is far faster than television or radio. Not only can we find any information we want, we can contribute as well. Have something you want to share with friends, family, or even the public? You can with ease!
Ability to share
What a perfect segue. Modern technology and innovative advancements have revolutionized the way we can share with one another. Sharing music and files have become incredibly easy.
Downloading shared documents is almost instantaneous. Various social media sites grant us the ability to share our personal thoughts and opinions with others. And the best part is, most of it is completely FREE!
Parents, explain to your kids that the internet is so big that you can do everything you need on it. That includes buying clothes, selling a car, running a business, and more! One person can send money to another.
Moms and dads can pay their bills via the internet. Sites like Amazon and EBay allow users to buy and sell just about anything. It’s amazing!
Educate about internet safety
The safest way for your kids to enjoy the internet is by educating them the importance of anonymity. Enforce the rules of staying out of chat rooms and communicating with people they do not know.
Naivety is great in children, but when it comes to the internet, a child’s age, inexperience, and naivety can be exploited. Kids, should never give any personal information to anybody without the permission of their parents.
Be sure to keep private your phone number, address, age, and even your last name. You may not think that’s information that can be used against you, but the more someone knows about you, the more dangerous the situation becomes.
It’s difficult to separate our lives on and off the internet because of how intertwined they are with one another in today’s digital age. But if you and your kids treat them as different worlds, there’s less risk involved. You don’t want internet “friends” entering your or your child’s personal life.
Tell your kids that it’s okay to speak up if they feel uncomfortable. If someone sends them something inappropriate or says something that may be invasive and too personal, they should not hesitate to end communication right then and there.
Stepping foot into the world of the internet is exciting. Don’t be let your children be afraid it. Get excited because this is the first move towards the rest of their lives. The sooner they jump in and understand how the internet works, the better equipped they’ll be to explore.