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10 Things Kids Shouldn’t Do On the Internet
The internet today is a very risky portal to many people across the world. In many cases, you could get into a chat with someone that lives in your own city, which can be okay if you know what you are doing. When it comes to children online, there is a bit more risk to their safety and a much greater need to ensure that they utilize the internet in the most appropriate fashion. If they are unsupervised or practice improper or dangerous measures online, they could put their own safety at risk or yours as well, whether you are just watching them or their parents. If you want to understand fully the things you should watch for your children doing, take a look at these 10 things kids shouldn’t do on the internet, no matter what site they are on or who they think they trust.
- Enter sites marked 18 and older. These sites are intended for those 18 and older because of the content within. The content could be anything from vulgar language to mature images and video, which is more than inappropriate for children to stumble into. The best way to keep your children out of these sites is to place blocks on the internet that they use, preventing the access to these sites.
- Talk to strangers. Taking it right off the streets, talking to strangers is a big no-no for kids, even online. You should tell your kids the many dangers, as there are pedophiles online that seek to gain children’s trust and take advantage of this trust. Inform your children of these dangers and then create a pact that you will meet those they meet online before they continue a friendship online, even just to chat.
- Give out personal information. It isn’t wise for adults to give out personal information and definitely not for kids. Kids have more dangers in giving out personal information from identity theft at an extremely young age which is sometimes hard to identify, to stalking and abduction as well.
- Bully other kids. There has been wide publicity on internet bullying that has become prevalent online in younger populations. Posting false and disturbing information about someone that isn’t true, taunting and sending nasty mail, and any other similar action online is highly discouraged and could lead to fines and punishments outside the home.
- Sending lewd and vulgar images to others. Whether it is a picture of a dead animal or something extremely vulgar that was found online, kids should never be sending these images to others. Other children will likely get in trouble and the act is a no-no in internet etiquettes.
- Accept mail, messages, or images from strangers. Many times, if there is a stranger that is sending these things, there needs to be an adult checking in to make sure there isn’t any funny business. Speak to your children so they will trust getting your attention if they are sent these items, allowing you to see what is going on before they are shocked by disturbing images or messages.
- Use parents’ credit card. Since the dawn of the internet, kids have been getting their parents’ credit cards and racking up the charges. Nowadays, there are many safeguards against this, but it still happens and this is a big no-no for kids. Not only can they give the information to the wrong person allowing you to be a victim of identity theft and fraud, but you can also be charged over and over again for something you aren’t getting, without even knowing it.
- Download pirated material. Whether a song or a video, if it is pirated it is illegal and kids should stay away. There has been many a child and parent in the court room getting sued for this type of behavior which is considered a form of stealing and can lead to very hefty fines. In order to prevent this from happening, it is best to keep your kids away from this material.
- Agree to meet contacts online. Even if the contact is sending the sweetest pictures of a young kid that couldn’t hurt a fly, promises parents will be there, and agrees to a public place, kids should never ever meet contacts from the internet in person as this can be very dangerous and has led to several abductions, rapes, and murders as well.
- Send mature pictures of self to others online. If someone is asking for this material, they should be instantly blocked and reported; as there are services you can report this behavior to. This is more common than you think and keeping your kids safe means ensuring they understand that this behavior is wrong.
When you understand what your kids shouldn’t be doing online, you are able to cover all the bases when discussing their use, setting your controls and filters, and supervising their use. These things happen very often and can be very dangerous financially and to the child’s safety, even if they are almost 18.
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