Website Safety for Kids & Teens

On: September 10, 2012

The Internet has evolved over time shaping it from a network used by the Department of Defense for sharing military data and information to one that is used by everyday citizens for a variety of purposes. Founded in 1969 as ARPANET, today’s Internet is one of the main communication tools used by teenagers and adults. It is also an incredible tool used for educational purposes. Due to the Internet’s many uses, more children than ever before are spending hours per day online. The development of the Internet, such as the ability to make online purchases, communicating through social media networks, email, chat, play online games, and the ability to send photos over unsecure connections, has also increased the dangers associated with it. From bullying and identity theft to communicating with sexual predators, children and teens can become vulnerable victims. Understanding the risks associated with the Internet and how these threats have increased over time is paramount for ensuring optimum safety.

There are many risks associated with the Internet and children and teens are especially vulnerable to them. Sexual predators often seek out children and teenagers in order to lure them away. It isn’t uncommon for a predator to set up a fake profile and appear as a young teen or child’s friend in order to gain his or her trust. The best way to empower youth and make certain they are prepared for the dangers using the Internet poses is through education and communication. Areas of danger include violence such as cyber bullying and cyber stalking, harassment, sexual predators, physical stalking, identity theft and pornography.

The best way to identify risks associated with the Internet is through education and understanding how scammers, bullies, and pedophiles operate. Many risks may be eliminated through the use of certain browser protection software programs that will filter out and block inappropriate content. Pornographic websites and images pose a serious threat to children’s well being as well as the safety of your computer. Many viruses are picked up through pornographic, gaming, or sites that offer free downloads. Knowing the various dangers associated with the Internet will help parents, teachers, children, and teens understand the dangers and risks prevalent with online use.

Preventing risks is the key to using the Internet safely and efficiently. Once risks are identified, measures may be enacted that will help provide the safest computing experience possible. It is much simpler to prevent Internet dangers than it is to address them after they have occurred. When it comes to protecting children from sexual predators, there is no question that prevention is the top priority and never a last result. Some tools used to help protect children and teens online include using Internet filters and software that filters content, ensuring that children have a limited amount of time to use the Internet, and keeping the computer in an area where it is in plain view. There are security methods that parents may take that will allow them to see all of their children’s or teen’s activities online. For some, this is the best way to ensure ultimate safety.

Whether protecting children and teens from bullies, cybercrimes, dangers associated with social media networks, or pedophiles, you will find that prevention is the best strategy. There are many resources available that provide teachers and parents with the tools needed to ensure a safe computing atmosphere. By educating children and teens on the dangers associated with the Internet, parents and teachers can make certain they have done everything in their power to promote safety awareness. Please visit the links below for additional resources and to learn more about website safety.

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