How to help the little ones to make responsible use of the networks

Today many parents can say, without fear of being wrong, that their children are capable of using the networks more fluently than they . And it is that today’s children have grown up in a world already dominated by the internet and social networks, and that makes them seem predisposed to wanting and knowing how to control them, since they continuously observe it around them and understand it as something normal and absolutely everyday .

It is clear that we cannot, nor should we keep children away from technology, because tomorrow they will belong to a future that is clearly technological, but we must be able to find a correct balance between what is desirable and what is correct according to age . We must not forget that the internet also involves many dangers and that minors are full potential candidates to suffer them.

Cases such as abuse, violence, harassment or bullying are very common on the internet and we must be able to protect children from them and protect their privacy and integrity to the maximum. Although it may seem, when a child is placed in front of a computer or mobile, that they are safe at home, the truth is that these dangers are only a few clicks away.


Things we can do to avoid dangers on the internet

  • Set parental control filters on devices.
  • Search and restrict access to pages that are for all audiences and appropriate for each certain age.
  • Set ad blockers to make browsing safer.
  • Put controls on computers in public places, such as schools or libraries.
  • Establish ground rules based, for example, on how long you can use the internet at home.
  • Talk about the places that have been visited, the things that have been learned … This, as age advances, should be done less frequently, also giving adolescents a certain amount of confidence.
  • Communicate 2.0 style. Your children will feel much closer to you if you are able, when appropriate, to communicate with them as they do: through emails, voice notes, WhatsApp … Of course, this should never displace conversations live and from you to you.
  • Observe the internet habits of the children regularly. Pay attention to suspicious communications and ask, without fear, when you have serious and reasonable doubts about a situation.
  • Explain to children the importance of not revealing personal information online , such as home addresses, school addresses, vacation sites, age, personal photos …
  • Talking with your children about the dangers from which you want to protect them openly is also very important, as it can help them to reason and decide for themselves when they are away from home or with friends.
  • Read the privacy policies of the sites to ensure that they do not request or retain personal data.


Probable signs of inappropriate network use

  • He spends a lot of time with devices, including the hours he should be sleeping.
  • Your child always turns his mobile phone upside down , always carries it with him and / or does not neglect it for a moment.
  • Your child communicates regularly with people you don’t know .
  • Your child receives gifts from people they don’t know in person.
  • Your child accesses other people’s passwords or uses other people’s email accounts .
  • He is always nervous and irascible , especially when you ask him about his online activities.

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