There are two things that should be a standard rule in every home that has a computer. First, the computer should be in a public place in the home. Children should not be allowed to have a computer in their bedroom. Second, there should be a limit as to how much time your children spends surfing the Internet.
You should have very frank discussions with your children about pornography and sex predators. Make your discussions appropriate for you children’s age level. While you don’t want to scare your young children, they should be made aware of the dangers that are lurking on the Internet. Children should understand that some people online are not who they seem to be. Children also need to be aware that they may be solicited by sex offenders.
In addition to talking to your children about ways to keep safe online, parents can also install software that monitors activity on the family computer. There are various PC Tools software available for parents that help them see and track what their children have been doing online. Some of the software programs monitor keystrokes on the keyboard. It will keep a file of what has been typed. Other PC software allows you to configure what types of sites your children are allowed to visit. You can configure the settings so that access is kept to age-appropriate sites. Other sites are blocked so that your children cannot access them. Other PC software blocks pornographic images.
Initially, parents may balk at using some of these software programs. But when parents realize that these programs help them keep their children safe, they should be willing to install and use them. Knowing what your child does on the Internet isn’t any different than knowing your child’s friends and where your child is going after leaving the house. Monitoring your child’s online activity could save your child’s life.