Internet Child Safety Guide for Parents with Less Computer Knowledge

The days where you learn things from books and elders are no less seen. It is age of computers and internet where you get everything online. Children will be easily attracted to the technologies around them, just like you got attracted to Walkman and Cassette players in your childhood. More over it is not good to keep the technologies out of reach for children. If your parents would have done this for you, can you be reading this article in digital format today?

What’s my point is getting children in sync with today’s technologies is as necessary as to let them know the happenings around the world. It will make them grow with the pace the world is moving on. You can’t just let your son/daughter book a movie ticket yet in theatres in his future teenage. So should not to pull off gadgets from their hands while they are using them but should let them use under your supervision.

Know some basics before you proceed

As this article is focused to facilitate parents with less computer and internet knowledge, I would like to start from few basics.

Children are spending more on internet these days. Before you make a move to keep track of their activity, you must know the basic terminology of internet. Here I give you the list of few basic terms that you should know about.

Chat Room – A virtual room online where you can talk to people(both known and unknown).

Hangout – A virtual meeting set up though a video call with two or more friends online.

Social Network – A place on the internet where you can have your own profile and can meet and talk to people you know and don’t know. Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and sites alike come under this category.

Blog – A blog is a digital journal or newsletter that is frequently updated with new stories from time to time.

Cyber Bullying – Sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices.

Cyber Stalking/Harassment – Online enticement of children; rude or threatening messages; slanderous information; or repeated, unwanted messages.

Phishing – The act of tricking someone into giving confidential information or tricking them into doing something that they normally wouldn’t do.

Flaming – Posting something that’s angry, insulting and/or mean-spirited.

Spam – Bulk E-mail sent without being requested.

Trolling – The act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the Internet, generally on message boards.

History – A list of Web sites people using a particular computer have visited. Viewing the history can be used to monitor what sites your children have visited.

It is necessary to know with whom they are talking to, as far as they are children. There are some language shortcuts people commonly use while chatting. Here are some most common phrases for you.

ASL – Age, Sex, Location

WRU – Where Are You

LOL – Laughing Out Loud

ALOL – Actually Laughing Out Loud

ROFL – Rolled On Floor Laughing

B4N – Bye for Now

BB – Be Back

BRB – Be Right Back

BAC – Bad Axx Chick

DIY – Do It Yourself

IYD – In Your Dreams

IYDMMA – If You Don’t Mind Me Asking

IYKWIM – If You Know What I Mean

KMUF – Kiss Me You Fool

KFY – Kiss For You

LOML – Love Of My Life

LTIC – Laughing Till I Cry

There are a lot of shortcuts that cannot be posted in one article. So I recommend you to download some Internet lingo PDF files from internet check out the meanings for the shortcuts your children are using in chat rooms.

Searching Tip: Go to Google and type “internet Lingo filetype:pdf” and hit ‘Enter’. That will bring you only the PDF files of internet language.

Warning Signs

The following are some of the warning signs to say that your children are crossing the safety line.
  • Spending most of the time on the internet, particularly during nights.
  • Turning off the monitor when others enter the room.
  • Saving pornographic, racist or drug related material on the computer.
  • Making or receiving long distance phone calls and giving no explanation when asked.
  • Skip family gatherings and avoiding interactions with family.
  • Make unnecessary online purchases.
  • Eating and sleeping less in a hurry to go online.
  • Low grades in all subjects in school except on computers.
  • Rejecting parents or family members friend requests on social media.

What You Can Do?

Don’t let your children know that you are spying on them. They would feel like being tracked down and will find alternate ways that you can’t expect.
  • Keep computers in a common area of your home where they can be monitored.
  • Always let children use standard account rather than the Administrator account.
  • Teach your child never to reveal personal information online.
  • Consider adding protective software or controlled access options to your computer.
  • Warn children never to chat with strangers online unless you are supervising.
  • Never let them use your credit or debit cards. If necessary in buying any goods, enter the details by yourself.

Technology is a sword with two sharp edges. One ought to be mature enough to use it for a good purpose or it is better to use it under the supervision of an experienced. Children are not smart enough to know this fact. It is your responsibility to teach them safety.

Like and share this article to your friends and let it reach all parents who are struggling to protect their children online.

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