Safe Internet Use
Dealing with inappropriate content is a subject often avoided because of unease or uncomfortable feelings on both parents and children's sides. There are many types of inappropriate materials on the web. For example, sexually explicit material, violent material or subject sensitive such as websites encouraging cutting, suicide or eating disorder behaviors. Racist or criminal activities are another source of inappropriate web reading. Inappropriate content is an issue all parents and educators must face.
Children may come across unsavory information on the Internet by chance or they may have sought out the site themselves. Sometimes even mistyping a word can result in sites coming up which may not be appropriate for your child to see.On the other hand, it may have been passed on in email or texts from a friend who suggested they have a look at a site.
Seeing inappropriate material can frighten or upset children. They may feel guilty and think they will get in trouble if they tell you what they have seen. It is very important to reassure a child in advance that they will not be in trouble or have their Internet access reduced as a result of confiding in a trusted adult. They may also feel ashamed or embarrassed to discuss the issue with you so try to keep an open and regular dialogue in your home about the Internet and content.
Many people are going to come across in this issue in this day and age and we need to face the facts and bring these discussions out in the open so children do not feel ashamed to speak about what they have seen or heard.
Get Rid of Offensive Content
Top Ten Tips for Parents
1. Keep the computer in a central location in the home so it can be easily monitored
2. Talk about the consequences of using inappropriate content with your child
3. Encourage your child to tell you about inappropriate material they come across
4. Explain that you should not open email from sources you do not know
5. Explain that you should not click open pop up buttons, games windows from sites you do not know well or competition announcements
6. Explain they should leave a site immediately if they see inappropriate content and tell a trusted adult. Ensure children are secure they will not get in trouble if they share the information with a parent or other trusted adult.
7. Explain to children that people can pretend to be anybody on the Internet and they must not assume what people say is true.
8. Create a list of favorite websites your younger child can easily click on to that are safe and secure. For an older child spend time to teach them how to navigate the web.
9. Install filters to minimize the chances of inappropriate content being accessed.
10. Make using the Internet a fun and useful tool. Talk to children about the benefits and how to search safely. Equally make children aware some content is inappropriate and not to be viewed.