Five Ways to Protect Your Child Online
Protecting your children online is one of the most important daily responsibilities you have as a parent. This article will provide you with “5-Steps” that you can follow to improve your child’s safety online including the best service for helping parents with their children online, WiHood.
When we were children, we were not all connected to each other all the time, everywhere we went. Today’s children are! They take for granted that the internet is always on and with it or a cell phone, anyone can be reached in a few seconds. As a parent, the first thing you must do is to not be intimidated by the internet but enjoy it as much as they do but from your own perspective.
Step 1: Don’t be intimidated by the internet, so you can be the new internet Guru in your home
If you’re a parent who does not even have an email address, you can get a free email address at http://www.Gmail.com or http://www.Hotmail.com . Once you have an email address, you will be able to join, subscribe and become part of the online community actively. That is really the secret that your kids have already figured out. By actively being a part of the internet communities, it doesn’t matter which site or service, your role or their role in society changes because you are amongst many while still sitting in your favorite chair or if your surfing using your cell phone, riding on your local bus.
The internet is a constant communication between everyone and no one, between you and a lost friend from high school, and you and your child’s teacher. You get the idea.
Step 2: Be a part of the internet community…Walk the Talk!
Children today have learned about MSN Messenger (an IM program that allows for real-time text chat), MySpace and Facebook (both are online communities where millions of people are online all day communicating with friends). In my experience, Facebook is a wonderful place for parents because within minutes you will find old classmates, friends, and lost loves. Not only will you find them, you will be communicating with them in seconds. While writing this article an old high school friend found me on Facebook… Yes, Facebook and MySpace are as much fun for adults as they are for kids!
Step 3: Communication
Now that you are online and really enjoying yourself by finding old and new friends, it is time to unplug from the internet and communicate with your child. This is paramount! Once you understand and feel the bug of the internet, you must talk to your kids about it -everyday. Make light conversation of it, let them discuss cool things and show you web pages that they find amazing. This is your child’s generation version of online quality time. It does not replace offline quality time but is as important to your child and you.
Step 4: Online child filtering services
Online filtering services are a must for children when they surf the internet. Don’t believe you will be around all the time to protect them, no parent can be. Many children surf the internet at a friend’s home and at school. It’s difficult for a parent to be all these places and still take care of their own responsibilities. Normal online filtering programs are not portable except for one, WiHood.
WiHood protects your child online and also provides your child with their own virtual desktop on the internet. Your child gets their very own virtual PC is how you should think about it. That virtual PC is stored on a USB bracelet that your child takes with them everywhere they go. If your not home or they are at a friends, WiHood is protecting your child while on the internet while also helping them to do their homework.
Step 5: Do more then protect your child, educate them with the internet
There are many great internet web sites and kids will find them, I promise, but the internet is also the most powerful learning tool of our time. Make sure your kids are surfing. If you can not afford to purchase a new PC for your child, there is an online solution. Online virtual desktop companies like WiHood cater to children and parents. You can speak to your school and find out what are the computer hours that they have so you can reserve time for your child. Also contact the local library and find out what are their computer hours for your child.
These 5-steps are the foundation for you to protect your child on the internet and also offer to them the wonderful opportunities that the internet has to offer. I recommend you to subscribe to WiHood’s child protection and virtual desktop services. Your child deserves the best protection and tools for a wonderful internet experience.
Dr. Robyn thanks our guest blogger: Thomas F. Anglero
Thomas F. Anglero is the Founder and CEO of WiHood. WiHood protects children online and closes the digital-divide with its virtual PC desktop service for children. WiHood is portable when using the WiHood USB bracelet…a virtual laptop.