The internet has had an immense impact in the way we live, especially for our children. Internet is a world in itself that has given rise to many dilemmas which require caution and proper information. For many parents, this can be an increased burden.
Apart from other duties towards your children, you try to stay alert about what your child does online and whether the things he does are safe or not. When it comes to keeping internet use in check, you have doubts about whether you can be as good a parent as in the other aspects of your child’s dailylife. This site seeks to make all this easier for you, by providing clear guidance on what you should do as parents in order to keep you children safe online. Here, you will find practical tips for handling such cases.
Today,internet has become an inextricable part of our children’s lives and most of them have access to internetfrom a young age. Children use different devices for connecting to internet from numerous locations within the area where they live.
Most commonly, children connect to the internet from the following locations:
- Home – nowadays, many families have a home computer with internet access;
- Cell phones – almost all mobile telephony operators in Kosovo nowadays provide cell phone internet services as well;
- Internetcafes – public locations where children often go to access the internet;
- Friends – children often access the internet from their friends’ computers;
- WiFi zones – children often connect to the internet in public areas providing free internet access.
In an environment where technology is becoming ever more prevalent and provides endless possibilities for using the internet, children can connect to the internet very easily. This is why parents need to prepare their children for safe internet use. Children who are well informed and aware about internet safety will be at less risk when they use the internet.
Children generally use the internet to:
- communicate and meet with friends;
- create and try new things;
- create groups that share common interests, e.g. music, football etc.;
- create and disseminate personal profiles, e.g. images, music, pictures and videos;
- play games, to look for others, or even harass others.
Different age groups use the internet in different ways and for different reasons, as in following:
Ages 2-7 years – Preschoolers are old enough to begin exploring the internet and to learn about the computer, while children aged 5-7 years can begin to visit websites designed for children under their parents company.
Ages 8-11 years–Starting from the age of 8, kids become more and more interested in exploring and using the internet to talk in “chat rooms” and to exchange online correspondence. Some older children may even begin to take advantage of their independence to search for “prohibited material” online. There may be various online advertisements targeting this age group. Children this age learn fast how to distinguish between advertising and other online materials, but parents should talk to them about advertising and how it should be dealt with. The skills and independence of children this age will continue to grow, but joint family activities will enable parents to protect and supervise their children more closely.
Ages 12-18 years – for 12-18 years old teenagers, internet becomes a valuable tool for homework and school projects. At the same time, young teenagers start to become more independent, have more confidence and want more freedom. Their online contacts and e-mail exchange increase. Some may object to the use of filtering programs and attempt to access websites with prohibited materials. Many older teens begin to develop their ownprograms and are able to manage computer equipment. They begin to use the internet for research and school projects, searching for work, further education, communicating globally and to enhance their technical skills. Such skills and knowledge may getthem in trouble if they begin looking for ways and means to break into private systems.