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How to keep your kids safe online

Last updated on: June 10, 2010 12:28 IST

How to keep your kids safe online

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Staying safe while using the Internet can be a daunting task for children who are unaware of many risks. Here's how you can protect your kids:

  • Create a list of rules for Web usage, and post it near your computer.
  • Keep your home computer in an open area of your home, not behind closed doors of your child's bedroom.
  • Set parental restrictions in your Web browser.
  • With many free email accounts, you can also set parental controls that allow you to block messages that contain offensive language or come from specific people.

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Courtesy: VeriSign India


Image: Set parental restrictions in your Web browser.

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How to keep your kids safe online

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  • Know which sites your kids visit. Check your browser's history once a week to mitigate any unpleasant surprises.
  • Establish clear rules about making purchases, and monitor your credit card activity.
  • Help your kids create their screen names and passwords. Make sure the screen names are nondescript and don't identify your kids as young children. Explain the importance of keeping passwords confidential.


Image: Keep passwords confidential.

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How to keep your kids safe online

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  • If your children visit social networking sites, monitor their profiles and contacts list for inappropriate material. Talk to them about whom they are connecting with online - particularly new friends.

  • Speak to them about what is not acceptable to post, including personal information like your phone number or address. Some parents take this a step further and restrict their kids from posting their last name.
  • Don't allow your child to set up a face-to-face meeting with an online friend unless you're present - even if it's with a friend from school.


Image: Monitor their activity online.
Photographs: Illustration, Uttam Ghosh.
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How to keep your kids safe online

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  • Let your kids know that if they come across anything that makes them feel uncomfortable - whether it's objectionable material or a social situation where they feel bullied - to immediately alert you.
  • If your kids have an e-mail address, don't allow them to give it to Websites, online contests, or people they don't personally know. Email addresses are bought and sold every day to criminals perpetrating phishing, spamming, and spoofing schemes.


Image: Be careful about the e-mail address.

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