Before the advent of computers, children only had limited means of communication with other children and adults – physical gatherings, telephone or letter. It was fairly easy for their parents to know who they were with or who they were talking or writing to. Things are different now.
With the computer world opening wide in front of them, children now have access to other means of communication. They can make friends with other children in another country thousands of miles away. They can find people interested in the same topics as they are, exchange ideas and dreams, stories and events. But although the internet is a great place for kids to make new friends, it is also used by sexual predators prowling for victims. Unfortunately a 50 yr old sexual predator can disguise himself as a 14 yr old boy online, luring another child into his confidence and getting personal information and photos from him or her that could be potentially damaging, even devastating.
There is computer monitoring software available for parents who would like to keep a close eye on what their children are doing online. These software programs will record every site your child surfs, the exchange of chat and emails, and even record images on the screen at intervals.
Some parents and certainly their children will view this as an invasion of the child’s privacy. But as parents responsible for their children’s safety, invading their privacy is a small price to pay. To avoid being totally secretive about this monitoring system, parents can inform their kids that they will be monitoring what they say and who they correspond with online as a safety precaution. Parents can also discuss with their children the rules they are expected to follow when they are online.