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The internet should be a secure place where you and your family can communicate, learn, shop and share happy moments without having to worry about the safety of your personal information or if your children accidentally come across inappropriate websites.
Help protect your children by being aware of the types of undesirable online content, setting internet filters and appropriate online boundaries and educating your kids on how to handle inappropriate content when they come across them.
Setting Online Boundaries For Children
If your children broke any rule in the past, you probably would be able to find out about it and administer the appropriate punishment. Today, the internet provides a platform where your children can break the rules – but this time maybe without you knowing. Sometimes, the rules broken may even be against the law, including:
1. Illegal downloading, uploading and sharing
As long as they have a simple URL to the download source, your children will be able to get music and videos with quality as high as the original copy without paying. Your children can also easily upload and share the content with their friends. However, these acts are infringing on the copyrights owned by the content producers and can be legally pursued.
2. Underage use of social media
Social networking sites like Facebook are extremely popular among the young. However, did you know that only those who are at least 13 years old are allowed to register for an account? Many kids get their accounts by lying about their date of birth when registering and sometimes, it may be the parents who do it for them.
3. Defaming others
Social networking sites are virtual spaces to express anything and everything. In some cases, users may post comments to attack and defame those who have angered them. Little do they realise that anyone on the internet will be able to see what they have posted if privacy settings are not appropriately set. And even a simple statement could result in a defamation lawsuit with the victims.
4. Making online purchases without permission
If your children are using smartphones, there is probably an array of applications they want to download. These applications often require your credit card details for any download to begin, and your kids will always have access to the information if you don’t logout of your account. They may then download as they wish without your permission and chalk up a bill that you find out only when you receive your credit card statement.
5. Accessing inappropriate online content
The internet has almost every piece of information you can ever find and that includes inappropriate online content such as pornography and violence. Out of curiosity, your children may intentionally access these materials without your knowledge. They may also stumble across them unintentionally. These sites may sometimes be programmed to install malware into your computers, thus causing you and your children to become potential cyber crime victims.
Article contributed by TOUCH Cyber Wellness