Child Internet Security: Is your child vulnerable to online predators?

While the Internet is an extraordinary leap forward in communications technology, it does pose some challenges in terms of the safety and security of those that use it, and that is why child internet security needs must be taken into account if you want a safe and secure family internet experience. Internet security for for kids is a must.

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Unfortunately, there are those amongst the population that seek to abuse the Internet for their own nefarious purposes. The undesirable aspects of the Internet range from software viruses and worms that can infiltrate your computer systems and destroy valuable data, or steal sensitive information, or in a worst case scenario, enable a predator to make actual physical contact with someone in your family.

Perhaps one of the worst scenarios any parent can face is that of a pedophile connecting with their child or vulnerable teenager. According to the "National Center for Missing & Exploited Children" (www.ncmec.org), about 1 in 7 children who use the Internet are approached by online predators at some point in time. This is a scary statistic to contemplate. Is your youngster at risk?

Sadly, it has also been found that less than 30 percent of children who have been in some way contacted by an online predator are likely to report the incident to a parent or guardian.

Typically, child predators and pedophiles lurk in Internet chat rooms, or on various interactive social networking websites. They take on a different identity, often posing as another child or teenager to make contact and gain your child's trust and confidence.

The sad fact is that pedophiles are using the Internet as a tool to befriend kids, and if possible, eventually make physical contact with them. Over time, as an online relationship is developed, they can eventually lure them out of the home. We've all heard what can happen next: sexual assault, kidnapping, and in some cases even murder.

So what can a parent or guardian do to protect the young people in their world?

In most cases, it doesn't make sense to cut off a child's access to the Internet entirely because of how essential the Internet has become to a child's ability to learn, explore, discover and communicate in today's modern world. The web if used correctly is an extraordinarily powerful tool, and it can contribute enormously to your child's intellectual growth and prospects for future employment.

The answer is to educate yourself a bit about Internet security risks and implement certain security measures on computers that children and teens have access to. A variety of internet security solutions are possible, and may include some or all of the following ideas:

1. If the young person is suitably mature enough, have a conversation with them about the issue. Explain the risk and let them know that you care about them and want to be safe online. Explain some of the things to be on the look out for, and ask them to promise to tell you about new online friends, and if anything unusual happens this is a first line of defense.

2. Depending on the age of the child and the particular situation, measures could include allowing access to the Internet and email only while under a guardians supervision. (However, this can be time consuming and impractical.)

3. Perhaps the best solution is to install a 'child Internet filter' this is internet safety and security software which can be set to perform a variety of useful functions like: defend against harmful agents like worms, viruses and Trojans etc., and block or regulate access to certain websites. Some of this kind of software can even keep a log of activities in the background so that you as a parent or guardian can see what your kid is up to on the Internet when you're not around.

If you do a bit of searching, you may even be able to find a free internet child filter.

The World Wide Web is simply an amazing tool, which in our opinion, every child should have access to just make sure that the children you care about are protected from it's dangers to the fullest extent possible.

With a few precautions implemented, there can be Safe Surfing for all members of the family!

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Posted in Business Post Date 11/29/2018


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