As we talked about yesterday, teaching children self control and how to make wise decisions is hugely important. In this day and age, we have the ability to make quick snap decisions that can affect us very dramatically, quickly, and thoroughly. Now, I’m not a fear monger. JE is a computer engineer. We are far from the dark ages technology wise. We recognize modern technology as a powerful tool. But just like any other powerful tool, it can be used for either good or evil. Let’s talk about Internet Savvy….
Anyone who has spent more than 2 minutes online knows what filth can pop up in front of you in an instance. What I want to discuss today is not the final authority on internet security, but how to be smart. Street smart. On the inter webs.
My husband and I follow a few simple guidelines that we will be teaching to our children as they learn how to navigate the computer and internet on their own.
- Search carefully. Word your search in a way that is “safer”. This is kind of a learned skill. If you want pictures of a sleeping infant, do not search for “sweet babe”‘. How you teach this to a child, I am unsure. Hopefully we can figure this out as our children grow. 😛
- Only click on links that have straightforward and clear addresses. If you can’t easily see where you are headed by reading the web address, don’t go there.
- If you are searching for something you aren’t sure about, have someone else with you for help in thinking and accountability. This has saved my husband and I from much grief.
- If you need to look up something that you know might have bad or gross images (Like when you need to look up info on skin conditions but don’t want to see the pictures), turn off the images in your browser. This also is great if there are bad ads on the website you are trying to view.
- People have made programs and browser options so you can make it harder to get to bad stuff. Be smart and make yourself accountable, and put safeguards around your mind and heart.
So now let’s talk about computer skills… no matter what OS you use, there are programs to teach your children how to use a computer. There are websites made for that purpose as well. If you do a simple web search you should be able to find many options to pick from. Two that we have used in the past are ABCMouse.com and gCompris children’s learning suite for linux. Both of these have taught H how to use the mouse and beginner keyboard skills in a safe and child friendly environment. Yesterday I downloaded a free typing program to try out with H-we will see how that goes. She is still a tad young in my mind, but my hope is that it gets her familiar with the letter arrangement so when she begins using the computer more she has a leg up. 🙂