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5 Tips for Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

5 Tips for Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet

As your children learn and grow, technology is going to be a part of the process. Many schools now use computers in classrooms as young as preschool to teach children to read, count, and more.  As you continue the learning at home, you should be well equipped with the knowledge to ensure that as your kids browse and learn, they don’t run into trouble.

Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind:

1. Adult Content

One of my 8–year-olds loves to “google” things. Yes, she actually uses that term. She comes and tells me that she googled me. Well, while she is busy googling I do not want her to come across anything inappropriate. Not only does the searching have to be protected, but there are a few websites that innocent children may try to visit that are actually not what they are looking for. There used to be one particular website that was VERY close to another (hint: the house where the President lives) that would come up if someone accidentally typed .com instead of .gov. Not good! Heck even one of my own sites had a .com equivalent that I was afraid my children would visit trying to find me. It seems to be gone now. I think I ran her out of town.

2. Pop-ups and Spam

Pop-ups can be troubling on the internet. I have taught my kids to ignore and immediately close all of them that say things like “You have won a new iPad 2!” Some of these are malware in disguise.


3. Viruses & Malware

As stated above, clicking on strange pop-ups is one way to catch malware. Another is questionable downloads. Malware is short for malicious software, and it can really wreak havoc on a computer. Once infected, a computer may need to be rebuilt (have all software reinstalled) before it will work again. So, prevent this from happening from the start.

4. Timing

Just like adults, kids can catch the ‘tech bug’ and sit for hours in front of a screen getting lost in whatever they are doing. We probably do not want them to do this. There are other things such as homework and exercise that they should be doing.  You can and should set a time limit on your child’s computer usage to prevent this. My kids’ desktop is set to go off at 7:30 p.m. on weeknights, and 9 p.m. on weekends. After that, the computer locks and they can no longer log in.

5. Unwanted Program Installations

Kids are a curious sort. They may think that it’s okay for them to install what they think is a cool new game that they want to play. But, clicking on the wrong game might do more harm than good. Your computer’s parental settings allow you to limit program installations. If your kids want something installed, they will have to get you to come and approve it and log in with your administrator password before the application will install.

If you and your children use smart computing techniques there is no reason why everyone in the family cannot enjoy the computer for learning, games, and entertainment. Just follow the tips above so that you do not have to worry.

Kris Cain is a Chicago area mom to 2 sets of twins, photography nut, gadget addict, web designer, and blogger who has worked in IT for over 13 years. You can find her on her blog, where she writes about her love of gadgets, technology, and her children, or on, a community for Chicago area mothers.

Image Source: Tim & Selena Middleton via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

VivienneMcDonald VivienneMcDonald 6 years
Good article, which people should take notice of. So many parents don't get how easy it is for inappropriate content to pop up on a computer - and a lot of that can be avoided - by changing content settings, not giving the child absolute independence. A little is good, but still the parent should be able to make the decisions on what is downloaded - after all it is to keep our precious children safe.
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