Internet Safety: Easy Ways To Keep Younger Children Safe Online

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My almost-6-year-old is getting to the age where he wants to get on our desktop computer to play games and look things up by himself. He’s learning about how to use computers at school, and is gaining confidence in learning about the magic of what they can do. While I love that he wants to learn and explore, the Internet can also be a very dangerous place for kids, even though they don’t realize or understand the dangers out there. A few months back, fellow EverydayFamily writer Amanda Rodriguez wrote a post titled 5 Easy Ways To Keep Kids Safe Online. She gave some great tips that all parents should read.

My son is a bit younger, and although I don’t plan on allowing him to get on the internet alone anytime soon, I know it’s not too far off before he starts asking for his own Club Penguin account or wanting to spend more time on YouTube. So with that in mind, here are three tips for keeping younger kids safe on the internet.

DON’T allow your young children to use the computer (or iPad or iPhone) unsupervised. The internet has so many amazing online learning apps and educational sites that it’s tempting to get the kids set up and then leave them to work on their own.

A better idea is to stay nearby and actively participate with them or do something else while they are playing. Read a book, watch TV, make dinner, just stay nearby and have the sound up loud enough that you can hear what’s going on.

NEVER allow children to use chat rooms, instant messaging, or give any personal information to a stranger no matter how nice the person seems. Make sure they understand that if they are asked for their name, where they go to school, what city they live in, etc., that they should immediately come and get you.

TALK to your children openly about the dangers of the internet. Explain to them what a scam is, what a predator is, and the other no-no’s. Explain to them that that if they are offered free stuff, or pop-ups giving them instant access to a site, or links that suggest, by clicking on them, they could make your child an instant winner of money, are all scams. Your child should understand that if they have questions about anything that seems too good to be true, that they need to bring it to your attention immediately.

How do you keep your little techies safe while online?

Photo Source: Flickr/darrenleno

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Internet Safety: Easy Ways To Keep Younger Children Safe Online

Natalie is a wife, mom of a five year old son and three year old twin girls, wannabe foodie, lover of wine and of all things social media. She is the author of Mommy of a Monster and Twins, her personal blog where she writes honestly about the good, bad, and ugly of parenting. In her free time, which she rarely has anymore, she reads, cooks, gardens, works as a freelance writer and social media consultant, and drinks wine…lots of wine. ... More

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  1. Theresa says:

    We started all our kids with using the computer without internet. They learned the basics of how to manipulate the mouse and the keyboard early. Now my oldest child has his first venture into social networking and there are strict rules. He does not know his own passwords (email or social networking), I log him in and check messages and such before turning it over to him. I approve all friends. Me and my husband MUST be on his friends list. Pictures must be approved by me or his dad (typically they are pictures of non-identifying things such as a bug he found or some other similar thing), no chatting outside of the approved list (right now, thats family members only). We are always close by and monitor closely. There is only one group he is in i don’t check and thats because its a sibling support group and a friend of mine moderates it).

    My middle child is allowed certain online sites only. Its limited mainly to education related games and schooling. Nothing that involves chatting. And a parent is always closely monitoring.

    My youngest child is also allowed online games designed for kids his age such as starfall and PBS kids. I monitor his computer usage very closely. The computer is kept in the most used room in our home and in a position I can see the monitor from anywhere in the room. We also have a kids account and thats the only account any of them use.

    The only place they get to use a chat room is through their school (virtual schooling) and that is only with a teacher in the room.

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