Keep Kids Online Safely (Part 1)

2/15/2013 9:14:13 AM

The Internet has a wide range of great resources and activities for kids, but they may spread risks and unsafe stuff. We discovered ways to keep you kid online safely.

Today’s kids are digital people. They have grown up with the Internet and don’t know how to manage to live without it. They are totally at home with technology: using mouse or touchscreen to navigate like doing with reading and writing.

Description: Keep your kid online safely

Keep your kid online safely

In fact, many kids have been learning to use touchpad and touchscreen long, before they can read and write, use colors and icons to navigate websites and have they video games they like.

No matter how old your kid is, it’s important to keep kid safe when browsing webs, using social network like Facebook and chatting with friends via instant messengers.

Though your kids can be better at using PC and Internet than you, your charge is to ensure that they are protected from web’s aspects that endanger them.

The majority of the Internet is hard-to-find resources for children, regardless that they are using Wikipedia for homework, playing online games, visiting social networks or enjoying videos and music… however, there’re many websites that you don’t want them to wander around.

In this article, we are considering the risks and explain how you can protect your kids from them. Most of our advices are common but we will also consider some apps such as parental control which functions as a digital baby-sitter, taking care of your kid when you are not around.

You surely heard lots of “frightening stories” about identity theft, cyber-bullying and illegal download, yet the threats are real. You can’t only sit there hoping everything will be okay.

Web’s dark side


Although you didn’t see many evidences of it in your web-browsing, it’s not hard to figure out which content you don’t want your kid to see. Pornography is an example and web is full of it.

Your kid may, by chance, meet porn websites after clicking a link or an image that they don’t know much about them; teenagers may find them on purpose.

There’re also website involving gambling, drugs, guns and other things that your kids shouldn’t find out.

Even YouTube is not really safe. Innocent searches can easily turn out to be unsuitable materials. For instance, some people seem liking to replace soundtrack’s lyrics with filthy ones.

Social network

Facebook and other social networks are great places to share images and chat. They are especially good for kids to keep in touch with friends and families in distance.

Description: Social network

Social network

However, privacy is a big issue for social network. It’s easy to wrongly configure privacy setting or accidentally draw unnoticed attention by leaving them at default. You don’t want you kid to share any personal detail, such as address or phone number, or let everyone know you will be on holiday plus leaving the home without anyone.

Online game

Online virtual worlds are becoming popular with children aging above 6. Websites like, and allow kids to become game characters. They can join for free, and you can pay to buy in-game add-ons if desiring.

One essential feature of each game is letting your kids chat with both old and new friends. Each click is monitored and every talk is known, but you will never know, for sure, whom they chatted with. While the 3 websites stated to offer safe environments for kids, you should keep an eye on your kids when they are playing.

Instant message and email

Although only older kids need access to these services, email apps and instant messengers help anyone to connect with them.

Innocent-like messages from a naive-seeming youngster can be really from a pedophile who is enticing your kid by gaining him/her trust. Such talks resulted in real-life meeting where everything may happen.

Information overloading

All of us knew that how long enjoying online contents took us, and that your kid is catching up with the technology is becoming more important. But “sitting tight” in front of desktop means that your kids don’t have much fresh air and exercise, or they won’t sleep to chat on Facebook or play games. Looking at computer screen in long hours is also not good for their eyes.


The ease of online contact has some clear downsides. Bullying is bad enough at school yard, but it comes up to a brand-new level with cyber-bullying. It’s easy for kids to bully other kids via social networks and instant messengers, even emails. Bad images may be posted online, leading to dishonor, tease and threat. More importantly, as the pain is mental, not physical, you may not know if you kid keeps silent and you don’t intentionally pay attention to.

Description: Cyber-bullying


Illegal download and malware

There’re many website where you can illegally download video, music and game. It shows great appeal to teenage kids who lack money and even people don’t realize their misbehaviors. However, such actions can cause problems to you, invoice payer, because you have to pay for internet connection and be responsible for what is downloaded.

There’re high risks of accidental downloading malware and virus, which becomes more popular when you take risk entering web’s endangered sides. Searching any illegal contents, you will see a bunch of pop-up ads presenting annoying websites, many of which are porn.

What can you do?

The threats are real, and they are fearful, but it takes just a few minutes, effort and money to ensure that your kid is safe when online.

It’s common sense here. First, we recommend you not to allow your kids to have either PC or laptop in bedroom. Ideally, you would have a PC in living room or dining room, with the screen turns forwards to the room. This prevents most of inappropriate actions, as just a glance can let you know what they are doing.

Second, you have to talk with kids. Explain (in a way suitable for their ages) the risks that the Internet can cause to them, and why they can’t have any PC in private room.

Also, encourage them to tell what make them uncomfortable or irritated, or what didn’t come up to their expectation. You can erase unsuitable websites in browser history, and add URLs to parental control filter.

If the kids receive any threatening message, you need to explain that confiding won’t result in prohibiting other kids and making the situation worse. Instead, you can add more user’s address to email’s app-blocking list.

You must bring out the meaning of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors when online. Only are you able to decide these rules, but you can’t expect your kids know what they did wrong unless no limit was made.

For instance, you can tell you kids that they are not allowed to download files from a website or share files without your permission. You can set up the rules of online chatting, and ban them from answering spontaneous emails or register free accounts which are not checked, by you, yet.

Description: No matter how old your kids are, make sure that settings are suitable for their ages

No matter how old your kids are, make sure that settings are suitable for their ages.


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