Kids' Steam Bent Wood Desk and Chair $69 On Amazon
It is widely known—to all too many of us, alas, up close and personal—that the World Wide Web can be a prolific source of danger, with children and teenagers being kidnapped, raped and even killed by people they had met online. They may also view sites that are pornographic or otherwise inappropriate for people of their age, download sites that contain harmful malware or viruses—or simply waste their time online.
But computers and the Internet can also be a source of great help for children. For almost three decades now the computer has been a major aid to children as a way of doing their homework assignments—and now thanks to the Internet they can also find information that they might need to help them. So now the real question becomes: How do you make sure that your child is using the Internet to do his homework and not just amusing himself or getting himself into potential danger? That will be the subject of this article.
1) Net Nanny
Keeping your child secure on the Internet means first of all that you install security software that will enable you to monitor his or her online activity. One of the highest rated and most popular programs of that ilk is Net Nanny, which can do just about all that the older software can—and much, much more. It is not only valuable for blocking out potentially bad websites or the worst parts of otherwise good ones—which it does without having to resort to a list—but it can also send you an email alert if your child is trying to access a site that he should not be, so that you can block the site. It can also present the child’s online activity in the form of a pie chart that shows the percentage of time he spends on sites of various categories, such as games, music & entertainment, shopping, adult/mature content, instructional, kids’ sites, sports, financial, personal and so on.
Net Nancy also includes a feature that can enable you to manage the amount of time that your child spends online. To use this feature you indicate the total amount of time adn the specific hours that you want spent online. The system will cause the browser to turn off when that limit runs out unless you allow additional time.
2) Behavioral Warning Signs
Having security software on your computer is a great thing, but it is not enough. You still have to make sure that your child is attending to his assignments and not simply fooling around. Go into his room now and then to see how his work is coming along. If he acts nervous or seems to be taking a site down from the screen, that may be a sign that something suspicious is going on. Better yet, set up the computer in the living room where it is easy to supervise your child on the computer.
3) Some Miscellaneous Guidelines
With sites like Youtube, MySpace and Grooveshark it is now possible to listen to music while engaging in other computer activity, online or offline. It is not a good idea to do this, however, as it can be a distraction. I for one would certainly not encourage it, unless the music is soft and is not likely to divert attention.
Get involved as much as you can in your child’s assignments. Encourage him to do his homework with you and to tell you about any problems or questions that he might have.
As in all areas of behavior, you will want to set a good example for your child by not fooling away your own time online and visiting sites that you would never let him visit. Children always learn best by observing their parents’ behavior.
By following certain rules and guidelines you can enable your child to get the benefits of the Web without encountering its dangers. You should teach him, too, that it is not good to spend longer than a certain amount of time at the keyboard—regardless of what he does with it—because it can result in physical problems.
Rebecca Brown is an avid blogger for NQ Mobile official profile, keeping people protected when using their mobile devices.
Flash Furniture FD-DESK-GG Student Desk with Open Front Metal Book Box $57
Eiffel Eames Style LAC Plastic Side Chair Wood Dowel Legs $119
Black Plastic Eiffel Side Chair Set of 2 with Chrome Legs $239
Winsome Childs Desk - $108 Amazon
Lipper International Child's Slanted Top Desk And Chair - $106