Did you know the World Wide Web turned 30 this year? We’ve sure come a long way since dial up! But with progress comes pitfalls, and that’s what my social impact initiative addresses. The World Wide Web is a universally accepted way of accessing internet sites. While entertaining, these sites have become playgrounds for hackers, predators, cyber bullying, harassment, illicit sexual behavior...the list goes on an on. These downsides have led to many detrimental situations that we often hear about on the news every day, but, if they are combated correctly, we can continue down the invisible information superhighway unscathed. So how do we create internet safe homes?
In order to avoid falling victim to internet induced crimes, I have compiled the “Four Commandments for Kids Online.”
#1. Set clear rules about device usage.
Parents should determine how much non-school time can be spent on the internet and social media.
#2. Keep internet connected devices in a family centered area
A recent study showed that 25% of teens reported their parents know little or nothing about what they do online. This can often be a result of children having a device in their rooms.
#3. Install an internet filter
Whether the child is seeking out explicit information themselves or it pops up on their screen without warning, the potential for trouble is too high.
#4 Open up the lines of communication
Parents should work to open up the lines of communication between themselves and their internet savvy children. This way, parents are involved in their child’s online life and children are more likely to come to their parents when something doesn’t feel right.
All too often, a false sense of security can be developed because we live in safe neighborhoods, but what we have to remember is that the internet knows no geographic boundaries. When you go “online,” you’re putting your computer or phone in touch with all the millions of other computers and phones that are connected to the internet. I want families to act now. Implement these 4 guidelines, by doing so, you will be making your home a place where you can feel safe about your family connecting online.