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Neo
7th June 2011, 11:07 PM
As the internet becomes popular with children, they are exposed more to the perils and dangers of the internet. It is the responsibility of the parents to protect the blooms of innocence from the dangers of cyberspace.

The foremost thing to do for parents is to educate themselves about computers. While the parents are still struggling to use the microwave, their children are entering a whole new exciting world of cyberspace. It is a matter of fact that our children are sharper than us but if we resolve to protect them then we will have to be more incisive and keen.

It is imperative that parents learn about computers, their language and develop internet savvy. Children are very sharp and they easily dodge their parents. In a study, 95% of the parents didn't recognize common internet language that their children use while chatting with their friends. (The national centre for missing and exploited children, June 2000) They use internet language like POS for 'parent over shoulder', BRB for 'be right back', ASL for 'age/ sex / location', etc. Even if the parents are monitoring their kids, they would not understand this language. Many parents do not even know how to check computer history to know which sites their children visited. It is, therefore necessary that they remain up to date with all this. Without full knowledge of computers and internet, parents can never protect their children from its potential harms.

After educating themselves, all parents should devise some rules of cyberspace for their children. Remember, internet is not a child's right but a privilege! Some people think that they should respect their children's privacy and should not interfere with their lives so much. 77% of parents do not have rules about what their kids can do on the internet. (Kaiser family foundation study, March 2005)

Following are some rules which should be implemented at homes to make your child's online experience safe, educational and entertaining.

1. Place the computer in the living room or in a place where you are also present to monitor your child's activities.
2. Disallow chat rooms.
3. Teach the children never to give out their personal information to anyone on the internet and never meet someone in person they have only met online.
4. Limit the amount of time your child spends on the internet. Do not allow them to use the internet at night.
5. Do not allow your child to have public profiles with their pictures on the internet.
6. Review your child's friend's list on instant messengers regularly.

However, these rules are not enough to protect the child completely. Other than these, parents should use protection softwares which are available easily. They should use Filters and Parental Control programmes to block inappropriate sites. Spamming control programmes and antivirus which block pop-ups should be installed in the computer to ensure that children do not receive pornographic emails and that these sites do not flood your child's innocent online experience.

To achieve 100% safety, closed secure systems can also be used. This system allows children only to those sites which are predetermined as appropriate by their parents. In that system, children are locked out of the inappropriate content of the internet.

Moreover, parents' involvement in their child's life plays an important part in his protection. They should try to establish an atmosphere of trust and love with their children. They should bear it in mind that their children especially teenagers are undergoing a very critical period in which their role as a confidant- not a foe- is significant. It has been found that children who are close to their parents are less like to get into trouble.

To make the internet safe and a worthwhile technology for the youth of our nation, we must work hard and take this issue seriously.

Remember, the whole life of your child is on stake here and it is your responsibility to protect him and without your cooperation, everyone else's endeavors are meaningless.

Article Source: online