I am a mom who is just learning on how to surf the internet. And lately, I have been fascinated about watching videos on Youtube. Upon browsing the site, I have come across a disturbing but helpful video about possible child abuse on the internet wherein a little girl thought she was chatting with a friend. She gave lots of info and told the stranger that her parents were away, this led to the stranger knowing her location and catching her alone in her very own home. Seeing this has really driven me to become more vigilant in guarding my children against possible child abuse from the internet and I would like to share them with you as a part of the child abuse prevention month.
Tell your child not to talk to strangers (or possible strangers) This is the number one rule that we give our children every time we go out or when they go to a place where we cannot monitor them: do not talk to strangers. The internet, although virtual, is just as dangerous or perhaps more. In the internet however, you can hardly be sure if you are talking to the right person or not. Thus, if your child needs to talk to someone, ask your child and his/her friends to use clients that have video call capability such as Skype.
Monitor your children’s activities I suggest regularly checking the browsing history that your children use after every computer use. This way, you will be able to check if he or she is visiting sites that can be a venue for child abuse such as random chat rooms or adult meet websites.
Be there This is still the most effective way of delivering your children from harm. Always be by their side, know what they do, and advise them on the things that they should know. As a house mom, I can afford this much. However, I also understand that many women today find fulfilment by finding and pursuing a career. If you are working, be sure to know your priorities and spend as much time with your kids as possible.
Use parental lock Because many of us do not have time to monitor the children 24/7, I suggest enabling the parental lock in your computer and other facilities that can have harmful content. Parental lock can help you censor some websites or specify which sites can only be used by a given profile. Check Google or Microsoft’s website for instructions on how to setup parental lock on your PC. Aside from parental lock on PC’s, you can also use them on mobile phones and television. However, not all cable TV’s have these, only some with dedicated software like AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS. These types of connections can be expensive, but you can always use promos such as an ATT UVerse coupon code and they sure add to your children’s security and well being.