One of the great benefits to the growth of the internet has been the unique communicative methods that have developed. Chat rooms and social networking sites would be among the most entertaining of these online communication venues. However, they can also be the most dangerous since they are often used as a vehicle for predators to target children. This is why parents and guardians need to follow some serious advice: you have to take steps to stop online predators from targeting your children.
The steps to take to protect children from online predators is not difficult. All that is required is following a few basic steps to achieve the desired results.
Inform Children of the Dangers of Chatting Online
You do not want to scare your children when you inform them of the dangers, but you do have to stress to them the seriousness of the issue. This begins with telling them that the internet allows someone to communicate anonymously. This means a person may not be who he claims to be. An adult can pretend to be a child and do so to cause harm to an actual child he is targeted. Letting children know this situation exists allows them to be forewarned about any dangers.
Concrete Steps Parents and Adults can Take
* Talk alone might not prove to be enough. This is why it is necessary to take a number of steps to ensure that children are protected from being targeted by online predators. Here are a number of those steps to take:
* Always look at the history of the browser in the internet tools section. Through examining the history of the browser, parents can have a clear idea of the type of website, social networks and chat rooms the child is visiting. This way, appropriate action can be taken.
* Purchase and install parental control software. Software of this nature is designed to help block access to any sites that might be considered threatening to a child. It also can ensure rules parents put down regarding how a child is to surf the internet is adhered to.
* Place the computer in an area of the home which is a public area. This can allow for greater monitoring of how the child uses the internet. It also makes it impossible for any VoIP or video chats without knowing.
* Set time limits on how often the computer can be used per day.
* Children should be limited to only chatting in public chat rooms. They should be specifically barred from any private one on one chats because these type of chats are where predators can behave in a manner that is not being seen by others in the public chat room.
* All age requirements for social networking sites and chat room must be followed. If a member must be 14 years of age or older, then it is of paramount importance no child under that age should be able to sign up.
Small Steps Yield Great Results
These steps may be seen as being very simple, but they are steps that can be successful. Once instituted, these steps can work a great deal towards preventing online predators from effectively targeted young children.
Author’s Bio: David Anderson is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. His blog Myispfinder.org focuses on telecom bloggers and technology bloggers.