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Set Ground Rules for Children

Good parenting can reduce the risks for children going online. You have to pay extra attention to the following risks when your kids are surfing the Internet:

  • Exposure to inappropriate content like violent or sexually explicit images.

  • Solicitation by sexual predators in chat rooms or by email.

  • Online bullying and harassment.

  • Downloading of pirate software, music, video and other content.

  • Publishing software, music, video and other contents which are owned by others.

You have to set guidelines for your children in how to use the Internet.

Guidelines for children when using the Internet

You need to agree ground rules when your children use the Internet. You shall make sure they understand why you have to setup those rules and guidelines. The objective is not only to establish boundaries but also to help children understand the reasons why these rules exist so that they can take responsibility for their own actions and develop their own judgement.

We suggest you:

  • Agree and set limits on how long they can use the computer each day,

  • Agree what types of websites they can visit.

    Consider teaching them about the ICRA ( content rating system. There are also a number of Internet content filtering software tools which can help filter out inappropriate content.

    Change the settings in Internet Explorer to limit access to inappropriate content. To do this: go to the Tools menu and click Internet Options. Select the Content tab and then click Enable under Content Advisor. Note that it is not 100% effective.

    Consult your ISP to see if they can help you filter out certain content.

  • Encourage your children to report and discuss with you if they find anything that makes them uncomfortable or threatened.

  • Make sure your children know that they must not give out any personal and private information, account information and passwords, sensitive information like credit card numbers, or their school information without your permission.

  • Teach them about common Internet risks like Internet fraud, phishing, scams, identity theft, virus and malicious code etc.. There are software packages which can help you. Some packages can only protect you against virus attacks. Select a package that fits your needs.

  • Ensure your children know how to make friends online, blog safely, use auction sites safely and playing online games safely.

  • Ensure they know the importance of intellectual property rights. Downloading and uploading illegal copies of software, music, video and other contents are strictly prohibited and they will criminally liable for such activities.

  • Sit with them when they surf the Internet and encourage them to share the Internet experience with you. You may also gain additional experience yourself by observing your children.

  • Try to place the computer in an open area rather than in the bed room.

  • Constantly review the Internet browser history panel to check the sites visited by your children. Sometimes your kids may clear the history, so you may like to have an Internet monitoring software installed.

  • Set up a different account for your children on your home computer such that you can take full control of your computer.

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