More children than ever have access to the Internet now—a privilege that most old-school black parents never had. While there are many benefits to the world of web browsing, the Internet is not a kid-safe zone, and parents must monitor its use carefully. Even as Internet crimes against children continue to rise, some parents are unaware of the information their children are sharing, the software they are downloading, or the content they are viewing. Africlectic Magazine encourages parents to take an active role in monitoring children’s time on the Internet.
Below are some possible signs that a child may be at risk while using the Internet:
- Your child spends a large portion of his or her time on the Internet.
- Your child receives mail, gifts, and/or packages from people you don’t know.
- Your child quickly turns off the computer monitor when someone enters the room.
- Your child is using an online account that belongs to someone else.
In an effort to keep children safe, parents should follow these suggestions:
- Monitor your child’s Internet usage and let him or her know the dangers of giving out personal information.
- Keep the computer in a common area where the screen is visible at all times, such as a living room or dining room.
- Talk with your service provider about parental control options and blocking software.
- Randomly check your child’s email account if he or she has one.
By Timothy D. Withers, OMS 1