Internet Safety and Young Children

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In today's times, it can be hard to know what you children may be doing on computer. It is sometimes upsetting and very scary to know that someone could be stalking your child without you or him ever knowing about it, until it's to late. There are programs out there that monitor your child's activities on the Internet. But where are they, how much do they cost and why aren't they advertised more? There are a couple precautions that you can take at home, without spending any money, to help safe guard your child.

Children like the Internet. They like the convenience, fun, and activities they can do on the Internet. But how safe are they really? It all depends on you and your child. When a child enters a chat room, they expect to find someone that is their own age with their interests. They may even find someone that just seems like they truly are the "perfect" friend. But beware. Pedophiles and other undesirable people "fake" who they truly are. Your child comes to trust them, and maybe in time agrees to meet them. This can lead to really horrible and unforeseen outcomes.

There are many programs out there that are designed to protect your child such as CyberPatrol and NetNanny. But remember that these mechanisms are not fail-safe, and may also exclude access to perfectly innocent material. There are also filtering features built into the popular web browsers that enable parents to limit access to only those sites that have been rated appropriate for children. Some of these services can be very expensive and cannot be accurate all the time. So is it worth it? That is completely up to the individual.

I feel the best way to safeguard your child is to take simple precautions at home. First, treat the Internet as a family facility. Put the computer in a family room and take time to explore the Internet with your child. Also, make it very clear to your child what acceptable behavior on the Internet is. Set time limits for your child to...
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