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Protecting Your Child on the Internet

Date: June 7, 2013 Categories: Blog

Protecting Your Child on the Internet

Social media and the internet has forever changed the way we communicate. Through the internet, most specifically through Facebook and social media, we can update our friends in a matter of seconds about where we are, what we’re doing, and we can even post our pictures. However, these freedoms create risks for children when their pictures are posted and when the internet is easily accessible to them.

In his blog on Channel4 News, author Geoff White states that tracking and stopping child sexual abuse photos by from surfacing is a daunting task for internet companies. However, he adds that the systems to track these photos are becoming more sophisticated.

Being aware of the risks of social media is important for parents.While Facebook offers privacy settings, this option may end up providing a false sense of security. First of all, any picture posted on the internet enters the public domain. Geoff White points out in his blog that pictures can easily be saved. Secondly, it’s doubtful that we truly know all of our friends on Facebook, and that we can guarantee they are trustworthy.

Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) America created a “Staying Safe on the Internet: A Guide for Parents.” Here are some ways to keep your kids safe online suggested by PCA:

  • Learn how the internet works and what your kids can access
  • Decide what material is off-limits (sexually explicit, hateful material, drugs and alcohol) and discuss these limits with your child
  • Maintain open communication with your child about their activities online
  • Explain to your child that not everything on the internet is true
  • Tell your child that some people online may be lying about their identity and could be looking to hurt kids
The internet offers many great opportunities for children to learn, but keeping children safe needs to be our top priority.
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