Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ensure internet safety for kids

Internet has become the most popular medium of communication, information and entertainment in the world. Not only adults but kids are also tempted to stay online for hours whether required or not. With the easy approach to smartphones and tablets, internet access has become easier. Though it has served several purposes yet its perennial presence is posing serious threats to the children who are largely unaware of the harmful consequences of the internet.



Parents have an inevitable role to play in the growing years of children. It is the duty of the parents to monitor the length and depth of involvement of their children in the internet world. They need to understand the multiple negative effects of online overexposure. Barring a few of them, even large number of parents may not know the impact of computers and internet on the lives of their children. Here are some of the bitter truths about unlimited internet access on the kids:
  1. The kids become addictive to online games including violent games which can make them aggressive.
  2. The kids may visit or view some objectionable content or website in the absence of their parents and can have wrong influence which may be undesirable or unsuitable for minors.
  3. Even if the kids do not surf the undesirable websites, these sites can pop up and expose the kids to content of pornographic nature which is actually dangerous.
  4. Chatting has become quite a rage. But the flip side is the person communicating with the kid is a complete stranger. He may pretend to be of same age kid residing in same location but he may actually target the young children in his obnoxious motives to seduce innocent minds.
  5. Blogging is a new way of expression. Children resorting to such means do not understand their limits and may cater private or confidential information to the whole world including the criminals.
  6. Internet exposure is resulting in loss of activity time or interaction time and loss of childhood moments as the kid prefers internet over social life.
  7. Many physical ailments may crop up because the kids stay hooked to cyber world and online games which takes away the fun or sports time out of their life. The ailments can vary from neck pain, joints pain, dry and/or tired eyes, weight gain or loss, irregular eating habits, improper sleeping timing and even carpel tunnel syndrome.
  8. The internet addiction is growing among kids and teens leading to several psychological and behavioral issues like less interaction with friends/ family, frustration, anxiety, guilt, lack of concentration, even leading to depression. 
Total avoidance of computers and internet is not the right solution as it is the vast source of educational information. Also the internet is a part of daily homework of the students. But some concrete steps can be taken to ensure internet safety of the kids and adolescents.
                                           
Internet use under parent supervision


The parents need to maintain a good amount of control on kids while they are on internet. There should be time limit for playing online games.

Besides, the kids can be given access in the presence of parents only.

The kids should be taught about netiquette and certain dos and don’ts while being online. the parents can talk to growing kids about the probable dangers surrounding internet usage. Making kids aware of positive and negative aspect of overuse can help a lot.

In addition, the parents should keep an eye on the websites visited history of the device so as to ensure safe surfing by the kids. Constant monitoring and check is compulsory to safeguard the kids from getting victimized to some unethical medium.

Computer monitoring and internet control software is an efficient way to protect the child from peril from internet. Since round the clock vigil is not possible, such software is a necessity to support the parental control on internet monitoring.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks Deepti for sharing such nice information based on in depth study about children's behaviour, and use of computer by them with pron and cons.Article is must read for parents.Keep it up. May God bless.

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  2. I'm wondering, is there a required or advisable time limit to allow our kids with internet? I noticed our kids are glued to our computer after we had our cheap cable internet installed.

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  3. Hi ralphswurld,
    You are right. There should be some time limit to allow internet access for kids. Continuous access can damage the vision of kids and may result in bodyache/headache.
    Whatever be the facility and no matter how much economical it may be, the health and development of kids is over and above all that.Therefore, computer restriction is must. BTW, I let my 7 year old son to access internet for games only twice a month. IF IT IS FOR KNOWLEDGE PURPOSE THEN HALF AN HOUR CAN BE GIVEN.

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