Everyone knows that we live in an age of raging technology. It is everywhere we look, and becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives every day. We are completely surrounded by all things technological, whether we like it or not.
My opinion? I love it. Having constant access to the Internet in countless different ways is an awesome thing. I have access to dozens of types of entertainment, thousands of learning resources, and friends and family that I do not get to see often. These are some of the great things about technology. But, as is the case with just about everything, it is not ALL good.
The Internet, in all of its captivating glory, can be a very dangerous place; to everyone, for sure, but especially to young ones. There are millions of appealing traps online that are alarmingly easy for unsuspecting kids (of all ages) to get caught in. These traps often lead to viruses that will infect your computer and damage your files; but more importantly, these traps can occasionally lead to things that are harmful towards kids.
The best thing we can do to avoid these traps is to try to put up good defenses against them and actively monitor kids' technology usage.
On computers, the first step is to make sure you have a trustworthy Anti-Virus program installed that will alert you when something does not seem right with your machine. The Mobile PC Guys highly recommends WebRoot Secure Anywhere, which constantly scans and does a great job defending against viruses. If you have us install it for you, not only will it let you know when something is not right, but it will also let us know, so you will definitely be taken care of. In addition, at $35.00 a year, it is much cheaper than most competitors, AND has a higher success rate.
The next step would be to constantly monitor what websites your kids are visiting. Discuss with them which websites are safe and which ones are not, and create a special folder of bookmarks just for them. Let them know how important it is to not share any personal information over the Internet unless they have your specific permission to do so. The Internet is a perfect place to apply the age-old saying, "Better safe than sorry!" Encourage your kids to come to you with any questions they might have about their Internet adventures.
These guidelines also apply for tablets, iPods, smartphones, etc. Although these devices do not get infected with viruses as much as computers do, it is just as easy, if not more so, to stumble into those dangerous and harmful traps. Make sure kids understand that once something is posted on the Internet, it is there forever. Nothing really goes away. Encourage them to strongly consider what they share and with whom they share it.
Internet safety is a serious issue, and especially for young ones. Our generation is so accustomed to all things technology-related, but do we really know how to use them cautiously yet? I am certainly still learning, as are many others. The best thing we can do is encourage those around us to be responsible with their technology usage, and try to lead by example.
Safe Internet-Exploring, everyone! Or Google-Chrome-ing. Or Mozilla-Firefox-ing...or Safari-ing.
(Just no Microsoft Edge-ing, Windows 10 users. It is not very secure!)