How Young is Too Young for the Internet?

boy-110762_1280It is one of the worst nightmares for a parent.

Their child gets on the Internet to simply play games, do some schoolwork, look up some family ancestry etc. Next thing you know, they are being stalked by an online predator or an identity theft thief hoping to cash-in on their youthfulness.

For those parents who have been down this road before, it is startling to say the least. What should be an innocent experience on the worldwide web can quickly go from good to bad in a hurry.

So, what is a parent to do in order to make their child’s online experience as safe as possible?

Provide Your Kids with Online Security

For starters, parents can lessen the chances their child or children will fall victim to online criminals by having the best firewall possible.

The question oftentimes, however, what is the best line of online security out there?

For those parents who are a little or actually very green when it comes to technology, locating the right line of online defense can seem quite challenging at times. That said there are numerous providers out there who can assist you in the pursuit.

Whether you opt for doing a review of Infoarmor or another such identity protection provider, do your research so that you can land the best protection possible.

Once you have the best possible line of defense set up against online criminals, the next task at hand is schooling your children on how to protect themselves if you’re away from the computer and they’re using it.

You can start by reminding them that many websites are a no-no for them. Even though numerous websites say they do all they can to protect younger ones online, it is not out of the realm of a child’s imagination to create a fake user profile on a social media site or other online venues. Once he or she does that, the trouble can quickly mount.

Never Talk to Online Strangers

Also do your best to guide your child or children away from talking to anyone they do not personally know on the Internet.

While Skype or other venues are fine for having one-on-one time with cousins in different parts of the country or conversing with classmates on a homework assignment, starting up or responding to a request to begin a conversation with a stranger should always be forbidden.

While your child could be at risk online, he or she could accidentally put the entire family at risk too.

Along with online predators, cyber-criminals have no problem preying on children, knowing that some kids are apt to spill the beans about personal family information (where they live, where their parents do their banking etc.).

Once again, remind your child that he or she should never discuss information online with people they do not know, along with avoiding downloading any attachments sent to any family email accounts. Opening just one of them could mean downloading a computer virus, one that could leave your banking and other personal financial information susceptible to being stolen.

If you have solid computer software protection on your machine/s, along with educating your children about the dangers of talking to strangers online, you may think you’ve got all your bases covered, yes?

As it turns out, there are other facets of the Internet and computers in general that you should be concerned about when it comes to your kids.

Yes, computers can be wonderful learning tools to educate your kids on everything from school projects to family trees, but any time a child spends online should be carefully monitored. While you don’t want to be standing over their shoulders 24/7 on the computer, you do need to decide at what appropriate age they can be left to their own with such devices.

For many parents, the answer to that matter will be varied, mostly dependent on how intelligent the child is. It isn’t just a matter of getting great grades in school, it also comes down to using some common sense each and every time they sign-on the Internet.

When it comes to your child and the Internet, how young is too young?