Internet Safety: Tips for Parents

The advance of internet and cellphone technology has brought in its wake major tests especially for Muslim parents worried about their kids. Bad things can range from Internet pornography to online bullying to being stalked by strangers and sexual predators to breeding doubts about Islam. Cellphones are just as bad with chatting, porn and music. The good news for parents is there are resources to help. Here’s Part One in our Tips for Parents:
Starting Off tips
Know the Web sites your child uses and learn the lingo.
Understand how the technology is used.
Engage your child in a discussion about online safety.
Set effective rules.
Use parental control software to monitor Internet use, set parameters, find out if children are tampering with the limits.
Teach children how to make good choices, help children find positive content.
Realize that smart children will get around the tools.
Don't allow children to arrange a face-to-face meeting with anyone.
Tools include Internet filters or ‘parental controls’ and Web sites that offer handbooks, tips, control programs and other educational materials. Experts urge parents to get involved as soon as their children start using the Internet. Parents must be clear about the rules, practice what they preach and try not be intimidated by what they don't know. A little investment in learning the technology will definitely go a long way in helping to keep kids safe.