Exodus College School

How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

The Corona virus pandemic has had a serious impact on the education sector here in Uganda. In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, schools were left with no option but to temporarily close. This has left learners with a lot of time to themselves and in most cases unattended at home for most of the time.

One of the ways learners are dealing with this boredom and idleness is by going online. But while the internet is a good place to continue with learning, entertainment and communication, there is a dark side to it if not monitored. Our kids are at a vulnerable age and if not guided, their physical safety and emotional well being is at risk. It is therefore inevitable that as our children surf the web, we as parents need to paddle alongside them.

What can a parent do?

Limit usage. One way you can help is by limiting usage. You could guide them on use of the internet and restrict it to a few hours a day. You could limit usage of playing games and social networking to a few hours and a no go area after say, dinner. It could be a family rule that internet cannot be used beyond a certain time.

Keep kids in sight. You could also have computers and laptops centrally located. This way, your child is less likely to browse questionable content if she knows her parent or sibling might walk by at any second. This helps you monitor time spent online, chosen activities, and resultant behavior.

Regularly check online activity. As a parent, endevour to check the browser history to know where your child goes online. This could give you a hint of how and what they are doing online. You should also check their favourites folder in the browser to understand what your kids love to do online.

Know who your child talks to online. Always find out who your kids chat with online. Find out whether they know them personally or have never met them. You should advise your kids to never share personal information like phone numbers, best feind’s details or even addresses. No level of revealing detail should ever be reached. Invitations to parties or meeting strangers in person should also not be honoured.

The bottom line: Discuss with your child what she’s doing online and why. Set rules, and talk about them. Then keep talking, since your child can earn more rights and responsibilities as she grows. If she feels comfortable with these conversations, she will be more likely to let you know when she runs into an online bully or stumbles upon inappropriate content. While keeping kids safe, be a role model with your own Internet habits, since your child is likely to emulate your behavior.

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