The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Kids and the Internet

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kids and the Internet

How can you find out which sites your children visit most frequently?  By doing a search of the browsing history.  Here;s how:

Open Internet Explorer and press and hold the “Ctrl” and “H” keys for a list of websites your child has seen in the recent past. Use the drop-down menu to see the sites your child has visited the most, or choose “Search History” to learn the keywords your child has been using. (The process is similar for other browsers.) If you find that your techy child has deleted the search history, ask him why.  You probably won't like the answer! 

Naturally, you can place child controls on the computer to filter out porn sites and any others you feel are unacceptable for young computer uses. Most major search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo, allow you to turn on a “safe search” mode that blocks sites that aren’t appropriate for kids, and most Internet service providers provide parental controls. However, it's also good to sit down with your children to discuss the problems associated with these sites so they understand your reasons for concern rather than your reasons for controlling their browsing. 

Be alert to any surrepticious behavior like turning off the computer or lowering the screen when you walk in the room.  That's a sure sign your child doesn't want you to see what he was researching on the computer.  Gently discuss the reason for this behavior.  If you jump in with a tirade about safe searching, your child will back away from your good intentions.  Open the computer while your child is in your presence and together look at the history.  That way you can discuss the situation without making it look like you're going behind his back to find out his browsing habits.  Remember, children need respect for their privacy, too, but not when their welfare depends on your knowledge. 

For more tips, go to http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/net_safety.html and find a CyberSafe Program in your area: https://kidproofusa.com/course/CyberSafe.aspx

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