Internet Security for Kids
If you have an internet connection at home you're probably concerned about what your children are exposed to. Broadband, in particular, allows young people to surf the internet without restrictions, where they can be targeted by dangerous adults or unsuitable websites.
The internet poses three main risks to your child: adult websites, spam emails and chat rooms.
Protecting children from adult websites
Adult websites containing explicit and violent images are widespread on the internet – as well as guides to making bombs and other explosives – and there’s a chance your child may stumble across one. Some of these have a warning on the homepage that alerts visitors to the content of the site, but the best way to avoid them is with parental control software that allows you to restrict and block certain sites using keywords, or monitor the sites that your child has been visiting
Protecting children from unsuitable spam emails
Spam emails are a threat to anyone with an email account, and adult websites often target new users by sending out unsolicited emails. This is illegal in many countries, but it’s very difficult to impose geographical boundaries on the internet. Adult spam emails will usually come from countries where these laws are absent or rarely enforced. Many email providers have spam protection measures, but these often just filter spam into a separate folder.
Protecting children from dangerous adults in chatrooms
Predatory adults can easily sign up as a chat room user pretending to be another child. In some circumstances, children have been put at risk when the adult has arranged to meet up in person or has been given personal details such as the child’s address. The cheapest and easiest way to prevent your child from being a victim is by talking to them about the risks, and the importance of "safe surfing". When they’re using a chatroom, they should always follow these rules:
Never give out any personal details, including their full name, home town, phone number, email address or the name of their school.
Never arrange to meet anyone without an adult accompanying them. They should let their new friend know that this will be the case.
Tell an adult if a chatroom friend says anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Always stay anonymous, using a username or nickname at all times.
If your child telld you that someone in their chat room is saying inappropriate things, try to get their username and report them to the website so that it can take action.