The internet may seem scary, but it does not have to be. Surfing the internet can be unsafe, but so can rock climbing, skiing, driving, and many other worthwhile activities. All risky activities can be enjoyable and life-enhancing given the proper instruction and tools.
As a parent, it is your job to provide your children with the proper instruction and tools to use the internet. We highly recommend that all families use the Clean Router, our internet filter that can block pornographic content from your internet network. However, a good internet filter should be only one tool in your internet safety kit.
The best internet safety tool? It is not an internet filter. It is YOU. Research has indicated over and over that the best way to shield your family from the effects of internet pornography, social media, and cyberbullying is to have frequent face to face conversations with your children. Talk about internet etiquette and social media. Talk about pornography and wasting time online. Talk about the importance of spending meaningful time off-line, and set the example.
These conversations may feel awkward at first. But, the more often they happen, the more natural they will be. Before and after you talk, remember to listen. Find out how your kids feel about selfies and nasty comment threads. Because technology comes so naturally to teens and tweens, they will have insight that you do not. As your older kids grow, they can become a valuable resource for helping you teach their siblings about internet safety.
Just don’t forget that YOU are the best internet safety tool.
To learn more about protecting your family’s internet activity and how to get online peace of mind, click here!