The internet has become so important in this dispensation that it is almost impossible to live without it. Accessibility to the internet is not only beneficial to the adult but also very important to children as well. Notwithstanding, it is the duty of parents and/or guidance to protect children from the internet because as beneficial as the internet is, it is also full of dangers.
Benefits of the internet
Access to information: There are vital pieces of information on the internet, children need to know what is going on in society and the world at large
Academic works and researches: Children need the internet to do some academic works which include researches, pictures, video, tutorials, data, history e.t.c. the internet is a place to find the best results for everything and this will result in better performances in children’s academics.
Communication: Children needs to communicate with their peers, teachers, parents e.t.c. The world is so advanced that classes now take place on the internet. Parents can monitor their wards through videos and online trackers. The internet bridges communication gap, it helps children communicate with tutors and their loved ones.
Fun: The internet is a good place to play video games and have a nice time.
Dangers of the internet
Password, account and data hacking: The internet is full of hackers who will hack social media accounts, credit card pins or harvest data at the slightest chance they get. It is very important to protect children from these sets of people.
Online bullies: Some people live to bully others. The only business some people have online is to bully others. They find it interesting to talk down on people, say negative things and ruin others. These sets of people can go to the extreme of making people want to commit suicide. It is, therefore, the responsibility of parents to pay attention to children’s online activities to protect them from such people.
Bad association and wrong influences: There are many wrong associations online including drug clubs, gamble associations, occultic groups e.t.c. These bad influences find it easy to lure naive Internet users to their groups. Communicating with wrong people online can lead children to make terrible choices and become friends with people who will lead them on to self-destruction.
Kidnappers and murders: Kidnappers, serial killers and sycophants use the internet to get more information about their victims. it is a must for parents to be on the lookout.
Pornographies: The internet sadly is full of pornographies. Children can easily become addicted to pornographies because of their access to the internet. Nudes are probably the easiest thing to come by online.
Be there with them: When children start using the internet, be there with them make sure they are safe until you are sure they can safely make use of the internet unsupervised.
Install parental control: The internet is full of adult contents, ensure you install parental control on all devices accessible to children to ensure they don’t view contents that are beyond them such as pornography and violent contents that may leave them traumatized.
Do occasional background checks on children online activities: Make it a point of duty to occasionally run some background checks on the sites they visited and content viewed.
Reasons to protect children from the internet
They are young and naive: Children are gullible. They need to be monitored, they need to be protected from the vices of the internet. At that young age, everything that glitter is gold to them. Dangerous people can easily take advantage of their naivety.
An adult knows better: It is important for parents to have the trust of their children. If your child can trust, he/she will follow your directives and use the internet safely without getting hurt. An adult knows better, an adult knows the best way to stay safe on the internet and will be in the best position to protect children from dangers.
How to protect children online
Children should be given early online safety education: The popular slogan says “catch them young.” It is better to start educating children about online safety from a tender age. Let them get used to the best ways to use the internet safely early. If possible, make a poem of it and let them memorize it. This will ensure they know the right things to do online and more importantly, ensure they never forget.
Educate them about online bullies and how to protect themselves from these online cowards who hide behind phones and computers screens to frustrate others: It is very important you teach your children about bullies especially online bullies. this will prepare their minds against such people and ensure they are well protected and prepared when they come across them.