The Internet is a fantastic source of information for all ages. However, there is information on the Internet that is unsuitable for young people, or that is misleading or inaccurate. Some sites are constructed by fraudsters and criminal gangs, that either try to extract personal information (“phishing”) or install malicious software on your machine without your knowledge (“trojans” or “keyloggers”). With sites such as YouTube, young people can be exposed to video footage that might not be age appropriate. Users can also leave comments about videos that could contain unsuitable language.
Bear in mind these points:
- It is advisable to keep computers in family rooms rather than in bedrooms so you can keep an eye on what your child is doing.
- Make it clear to the children in your home that they should never publish personal information about themselves on the Internet as it could be accessible to people they do not know and therefore put them at risk.
- It’s not just computers that can be used to access the Internet. Mobile phones and games consoles, eBook readers and even MP3 players can also be used. Anything you could do on a computer connected to the Internet can also potentially be done with these devices.
- You can turn on “safe search” options on some search engines such as Google, and on YouTube. This can help to prevent inappropriate material being seen by children.
- Avoid file sharing sites, and avoid downloading and installing software unless you are certain it is trustworthy.
- Installing an up to date virus checker can prevent problems. Even a free one like AVG can be sufficient protection.