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Online Safety for Children


Keeping children safe online

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The medium of communication in today’s world is the internet. Every teenager has an active presence on the web. Moreover, those few who are not net savvy are ridiculed and looked down upon. However, the World Wide Web is not free of dark elements lurking to pounce on a careless user. Before our kids venture out in the real world, we as parents make them aware of the dangers and pitfalls. Similarly, we must educate them about the hazards of being careless on the net. Explain the facts and dangers very openly, so that the teens are aware of the problems.

Also Read: Keeping your Child Safe Online

 

Keep personal details private. Information such as full name, address, phone number etc. should not be divulged freely on the net. Many child predators do not hesitate to use them and torment the child. Apart from such details, it is risky to divulge even casual facts about the household and family members online. Take the case of Raman. Alone at home, while his parents were at work, Raman gave the status on Facebook as “Alone at home, getting bored.”  Some unscrupulous elements noted this pattern and attacked their home a few days later. Details about the forthcoming family vacation, wedding or other functions could give ideas to thieves.

Communicate with only people you know. Teens love to chat with their friends and on various chat forums and social networking sites. Many child predators prowl the various chat houses, looking for easy preys. They communicate with the innocent teens, often giving wrong age and identification, enticing them to divulge phone numbers and address. Once these heinous people get their tentacles around unsuspecting teens they do not hesitate to ruin their young lives. Phone conversations lead to meetings and can result in sexual and financial exploitation.  So tell your teenage child very clearly that any contact with a new person on the net, unknown in real life, is a definite taboo.

Do not treat your blog post as a personal diary. The innocuous format of a blog encourages one to pour out the deepest secrets there. However, blogs are open to a million people who may read all about your secret motives. Once posted, stuff stays online for a very long time. A wide range of people like family, relatives, schoolteachers and other students can view it. Long after it is forgotten, a college admission committee or a job provider might decide to check the applicant’s net presence. Out tumble long forgotten secrets like Pandora’s Box, ruining all chance of success with one keystroke. Therefore, teenagers should be selective about what they write in their blogs.

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Sia Mitra is a freelance writer and blogger with more than a decade of experience. She has written for most major publications like Femina, Prevention, Complete Well-being, Child, Mother & Baby, Parent & Child, Womens Era, etc.


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