Protecting our Children on the Internet

The Internet is a powerful source of information and as such it is important that children have the ability to access this information. Unfortunately, access to the Internet provides children with the opportunity to find information and images that are inappropriate. As parents it is our duty to protect our children whilst they are accessing the web.

What are we trying to protect our children from?

. Inappropriate documents

. Inappropriate Images

. People using chat rooms to make contact with children for inappropriate reasons

To protect our children whilst they are on the Internet -

. Keep the PC in a communal area of the house

. Use Internet filtering software to prevent the viewing of certain pages

By placing the PC in a communal area of the house you are able to see the pages your child is viewing. This is not spying on your child; it is a way of ensuring they are using the Internet responsibly. If your child is distressed by something they have seen or received on the Internet then you will be able to pick up on this and help them.

Internet filtering software can be loaded onto your Pc and will prevent access to most inappropriate pages. These software packages can also be used for blocking chat rooms, logging all Internet access and maintaining parental controls.

Try and alert your children to the dangers of the Internet without frightening them. The Internet provides children with more good than harm and is an excellent way for children to learn the art of research and improve their PC skills.

Make a list of rules for PC use within the home, these should include -

. Never visit private areas of chat rooms

. Never give out Personal information such as Name, address, age and telephone numbers

. Children should inform parents if they receive any threatening, frightening or offensive e-mails or chat messages.

. Children should never arrange to meet anybody from a chat room without their parents being present (at the meeting)

. Families must not access pornographic or offensive sites

. Internet access should be restricted to certain times of the day and only when Parents are at home

. Restrict time on the internet e.g. 20 minutes a day

What do You Think?

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