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Online Childcare Safety

Online Childcare SafetyOnline child safety is essential to protecting your child. You may think that because they are in your home, playing on the computer in the other room that they are completely safe. The sad news is that they are not. There are thousands of predators waiting for them, lurking in chat rooms, in gaming rooms and in instant messages. If you have a child that gets to go online, you need to have a very frank and open conversation with them. There is nothing that is more important to you than to make sure that your child is protected. Unfortunately, your home may not be the safest place.

Here are some things you need to talk to your online child about.

Talk to your child about online strangers and dangers just as you would those that may approach them outside of their home. You should remain calm and be non frightening to them. You do not want to scare them but to inform them of what is out there. You can use many of the same things that you used to teach them to run from strangers right on the web.

Talk about instant messages. Although many ISP's provide for screening for children only to get a limited amount of messages as well as who they are coming from, you should still know when they are talking to someone. Tell them that if a stranger sends them a message to come and get you. Also, tell them that they should never tell anyone their personal information including their full name, address or phone number. They should not even give out their school's name. Finally, set up their instant message system to only allow them to talk to those that you add to their list.

Chat rooms. Older kids will begin to explore the web and this is not a bad thing. It is full of wonderful information for them. But, you need them to understand that the other people in the chat room with them are not necessarily kids they know. And, sad to say, they need to know that people lie. Just because they say they are another 15 year old doesn't mean they are. Along with the rules of no information provided, your child should know never to agree to meet anyone anywhere. This is the perfect scenario for something bad to happen.

Many of the ISP's will provide parents with parental controls to help monitor and restriction their usage, but don't think that this is enough. Teens are much more in control of the web than you realize and can find ways to work around this. Therefore, it is important to sit them down and talk to them about the dangers out there. You should also assure them that if they do come to you to tell you of a problem or something weird that happened that you will not be angry at them and they will not have their internet privileges taken away. You should always have an open communication to your child. Finally, a good rule of thumb is to keep the computer out of their bedroom and in an area where you will be able to see just what they are doing. Online child safety is crucial.
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