"Your child could be at danger over the Internet" - by Janani Gopalakrishnan

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Laxmi, May 20, 2006.

  1. Laxmi

    Laxmi Administrator Staff Member Platinum IL'ite

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    While the Internet is undoubtedly the greatest boon of our generation, providing you and your children with a limitless source of information, I think it’s necessary that you also know about certain dangers that your children may be prone to online and the precautions you must exercise to make sure that the Internet is a completely enjoyable, safe and educational experience for your children.

    An unsupervised child left to browse the Internet is as vulnerable to danger as a child roaming alone in the streets. You never know what kind of obscene and unsuitable sites your child may come across, considering that there are web sites on the Internet covering subjects ranging from virtual puja rooms to science and math lessons to language translators to instructions on how to make a bomb!

    If browsing needs supervision, chatting needs even more. Chatting is an excellent communication tool and provides your child the opportunity to interact with other youngsters from all over the World, helping them learn about various cultures etc. Here again, one needs to be very careful as several dangers may take root from the single feature of anonymity. What you see while chatting is only a screen name, which means nothing in terms of identity. The person your child is chatting with may claim to be a 10-year old child, but may in reality be a 50-year old man with perverse notions. You never know, so it’s always better to be careful.

    What you need to do to protect your child while browsing and chatting is actually very simple. Here’s what you need to do…

    • Do not keep the computer in your child’s room. Instead keep it in the living room or elsewhere where you can keep an eye on your child when he/ she is browsing or chatting.
    • Spend some quality Internet time with your children, when you browse with them, discuss the sites they usually browse and also introduce them to some good websites like encyclopaedias and other learning resources that are recommended for their age.
    • Teach your child never to reveal any personal details like name, telephone number, address, age, physical description etc while chatting and not to fill up any registration forms without your guidance.
    • Instruct your child to come to you for guidance if/when any chat friend asks for their address or photo or such details or extends an invitation for a telephone conversation or a face-to-face meeting. Even if you, after careful analysis, decide to allow a meeting, please make sure it’s in a public spot.
    • Speak openly with your children, discuss the dangers lurking in the Internet and in a friendly manner suggest that they ignore and not respond to any suggestive, obscene, threatening or overwhelming information they come across in websites or spam mails.
    • See to it that your children are not carried away by online marketing gimmicks which offer unbelievable discounts etc.
    • Set time limits for Internet usage by your children. If they are going to spend all their evenings chatting and browsing and playing online games, it’s most likely they are going to lose out on their precious childhood. Nothing can be more valuable that their play time and real life socialising.
    • Even when your child is browsing through educational sites for completing a class project or assignment make sure they go through the information available online, understand it and then rewrite their homework in their own words. I find a lot of children just print an encyclopaedia article on the required topic and submit it to the teacher without even a glance at the information they’ve downloaded! From the computer to the printer to paper to the teacher’s desk. Shouldn’t the brain have been somewhere on the route map?
    • Even if your children get all the information they want on the Internet, take them to the library often and inculcate the reading habit. No amount of browsing can equal the sheer joy of reading.
    • Print out guidelines for browsing and chatting and paste it at a clearly visible location near the computer to keep your child reminded of them. Make sure you word the guidelines in a friendly way, because children are unlikely to follow anything that sounds like an order!
    • Consider buying some filtering software for restricting the sites your children can access and blocking unwanted sites.
    Check out websites like the following for more information regarding Internet safety:

    Netnanny
    Safesurf
    Cyberangels
    Childnet


    So, now you are all equipped to provide your children with a really safe, educational, entertaining and enjoyable Internet experience. Allow them to use the Internet safely and to truly benefit from all its resources
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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2006
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  2. kalpana

    kalpana Junior IL'ite

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    Thanks Janani...that info was very useful...especially the websites to filter sites. Excellent work:2thumbsup:

    regards

    kalpana.
     
  3. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Janani,

    I was missing you here. that was a good write-up. a useful one as my daughter's trying her hands on Internet. that's a good suggestion not to reveal personal details over the net... thugh aware of the consequences, we do give away sometimes.

    thanks again for a useful write-up.

    Love,
     
  4. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    I failed to notice this thread before. Very useful write up Janani. In Uae, most of the unwanted sites are blocked. Really it is very help ful.
    Thanks for the article, Janani.
     
  5. krishnaamma

    krishnaamma Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Laxmi and Janani,

    Very useful article. The sites are nice and helpful. Thanks for sharing them. In Saudi also they blocked many sites and why it is not possible in India? Any body can explain?

    thanks in advance.
     
  6. Padmash

    Padmash Platinum IL'ite

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    hi Krishnaamma,

    yes what u said is correct net and child alone now dangerous. one day i was watching Boogie Woogie at one site then i tried to watch previous episode but no it directed me to some child prone site i was embarassed to see that. thanks for awakening parents.

    bye
    padma
     
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  7. Nischel

    Nischel Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Lakshmi,
    you are cent pecent true in your version .But how to control children. we can control them at our home with our personal computer but there are number of cyber cafes in every lane in a city, they allow to browse websites on internet even children charging rupees 8/- or 10/- per hour in a seperate closed cell where they can maintain ther own privacy. cyber cafe owners will never check the children what they are browsing. have you not seen in TV's that marriages are being arranged by chatting in the internet one to each otherand by exchanging the photos. after the marriage is over the gals experienced the cheating done by the grooms. this is the evil of the internet towards children not only this there are many websites which are giving nude and obseen sites of ladies to youngsters to spoil their thoughts. we can keep controlled child at home but we cannot ask him/her not to go to the college or to a friends home for studies etc. so i think it is not possible for us to avoid this evil unless the govenment interferes in it and banning such websites which spoil the children.
    thank you very much,
    NISCHEL
     
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  8. bhraman

    bhraman New IL'ite

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    There are kids safe browsers like kidzui and kids safe search engines (you can actually set the privacy options in google search itself!). There are many free parental control softwares too. The website chennaimoms has listed many such browsers, search engines and the free parental control softwares.
     

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