When I speak to parents about internet safety, one question they often ask is, When should I start talking to my kids about inappropriate material or pornography on the internet?
My response, as soon as they begin to use the computer.
If your kids accidentally go to a pornographic website, they will try to hide it from you. They will be too scared or embarrassed to tell you. Many kids think you will take away the computer if you find out what they saw.
Kids need to understand that you can come across inappropriate material without even trying. It can be an innocent search that results in pornographic images.
The internet gives us access to information from all over the world. Unfortunately, that includes information, pictures and videos that are not appropriate for kids or our family.
Let them know they will probably come across pictures of a nude man or woman. When that happens, they need to tell you should tell you so you can check the filters on the computer. The more you open up about it, the more they will tell you.
CyberSafeFamily recommends using parental controls that filter out inappropriate material and allow you to monitor your kid's online activities. Filtering programs allow you to manage the content that comes through the internet into your home. In addition, it narrows down your search results and gives you more appropriate results.
If you don't have parental controls, a filter or a content manager, you are putting your kids at great risk of being exposed to pornography and other inappropriate material.
Some of the information that is out there goes against the values and morals of our family. These days we don't even have to look for it; it comes to us. Just like we decide who we allow into our home, we want to decide what we see on our computer.
The good news is that we can decide what is appropriate for our family and filter out what we don't want coming in.
Although, once they leave home, you lose the ability to monitor and filter what they have access to.
For example, a mother called into a news show that was discussing internet safety. She said they did not have internet access at their home. She found out her son was hanging out in their backyard, picking up their neighbors Wi-Fi and looking at porn. She was in shock, she didn't realize it was easily available on the internet.
These days our kids have access to the cyber world through digital devices including laptops, netbooks, cell phones, iTouch or a Nintendo DSi.
Let your kids know they have their own free monitoring and filtering device that is always with them? It's their brain.
When you teach your family values and show them what to do when they come across inappropriate material, they will feel more comfortable coming to you when they have an online problem.
Are you looking for a Filtering and Monitoring Program? Norton Online Family is a free filtering and monitoring program you can download onto your computer.
If you are looking for a great Internet Safety Program for you or your kids, click on the link below to find out more information on the program my family used.
I-Net Safety Parent or I-Net Safety Student