Online or on the street, it’s down to parents to protect their children

Tanya Byron, the well known British television psychologist, talks about her latest role as the Government’s family internet mentor. After her nearly one year’s research and investigation about teenagers and internet usage, “open a web browser and you walk through a global front door,” she says, “letting your kids use the web completely unsupervised is like opening your own doorand saying “They don’t know how to cross the road but they’ ll work it out”. And she also insist her viewpoint that it’s down to parents to protect their children, whether it’s online or on the street. Teenagers are increasingly being lured into the alluring world of the internet, where they are willingly revealing personal information to complete strangers, and are completely nonchalant about it. It was previously thought that teenagers were duped into revealing personal information by sexual predators posing as teenagers themselves. But recent studies have shown that in most cases, these teenagers are aware that they are creating online friendships with complete strangers, and chatting with adults more than double their age. In spite of knowing these things, they are blissfully ignorant of the dangers of the internet. In spite of constant parental monitoring, a number of teenagers are falling prey to online sexual predators, and are becoming victims of child abuse. With the advent and widespread usage of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter,MySpace,  Orkut and  LinkedIn, teenagers have become more vulnerable to the dangers of the internet. What parents need to know of surfing with security Treat the online world as you would the real world: make sure you know something about what you’re children are doing. Ask your children to show you at least some of what they do a computer, but respect their right to privacy. Put the family computer in a public place. Use a web filtering program or parental control software (see Best Buy) to make sure your children can’t access potentially disturbing content online. Treat the internet primarily as a resource. If your children use it to help each other with their homework, for example, ask how best to manage that, rather than assuming it’s a bad thing.

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Category: Learning Center