How many electronic, internet enabled devices do you have in your home? How often are you, your family, and your children sending and receiving information via the internet?
According to one survey in 2013 there were, on average, 5.3 internet capable devices per person in North America. The same study reports that by 2018 the use of the internet in North America will increase 3.3 times. By 2018 "the average internet household will generate 150.7 gigabytes of internet traffic per month.
The virtual world that we increasingly engage mirrors both the good and the bad of our society. This begs the question, while you and your family are daily engaging with the 'good' on the internet are you protected from the 'bad'?
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you and your children are safe and protected. These 10 points are shared via www.cheezo.org an online safety program operated out of the First Judicial District Attorney's Office:
- Educate yourself, then your child.
- Teach children internet sharing rules.
- Children should not share photos of themselves on the internet or social media sites.
- Children should never give share their names, address, phone number, school information or other personal information online.
- Install an internet filter or family safety software.
- Know the dangers associated with sites your children frequent.
- Most social media sites and mobile apps have a parent page. Visit the parent pages to learn more about the mobile apps they are using.
- Talk with your children about encountering pornography.
- Manage your child's time on the internet/cellphones.
- Set internet guidelines and enforce consequences if they are not followed.
- Keep computers out of children's bedrooms.
- Create a relationship with your child that fosters trust and open communication.
- If you do not understand the internet, a website, or a game site, ask your child to show you.
In today's day and age internet safety should not be an afterthought. Take proactive steps today to ensure that you and your loved ones are engaging the virtual world safely and appropriately. Visit www.Cheezo.org to learn more about each of these points.