At the end of the day, spending time with your child whilst they use the internet can be a good bonding experience, as you can learn common interests and help educate them on the ways of the WWW. But should you wish to offer them some independence, and ensuring your computer has fail safes to ensure they don’t come across unwanted content is certainly the way to go.
You will never be able to protect your child from seeing or doing things online that they shouldn’t, but teaching them from an early age what they should and shouldn’t be doing will definitely help with their usage, and also help to keep them that little bit safer.
The world wide web is full of content meant for a mature audience, from movie trailers which are banned in cinemas for their adult nature (being violent, strong language and nudity) to music, which has crude and non-PC lyrics, to pornography.
With highly graphic content only being a Google search away, it is incredibly easy for your child to stumble onto content of an adult nature. Helping your child with their homework or surfing is a good way to help monitor what they are looking for, and safety tools should be implemented on your computer, just to ensure that there aren’t any unwanted surprises awaiting your child when they do search for something online.
As most adults now shop online and mostly store their credit card details with their favourite suppliers, this leaves your money in the hands of your child. Should they log in to a site you frequent which has your details stored, don’t be surprised when a new 50 inch plasma TV rocks up on your doorstep. This also could open the door for scammers who send mail requests for personal information to get to your child as they spam just about everyone.
Sadly applications like Twitter as well as Foursquare could leave your house under threat, what with children feeling the urge to write things such as “Home alone for the next few hours as the parents are watching a movie”, and then checking in to “My House” on Foursquare could leave anyone interested online from finding your home and possibly invading it.
Highly improbable, maybe, but stranger things have happened especially if your child has been approached on Foursquare by someone they don’t know (or someone they think they may know).
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by AVG and I hope that being aware of these 5 Dangers of Letting Kids Go Online Unsupervised will help you keep your kids safe.