How to monitor your family's internet usage
In our times much of modern communication is not face-to-face, whether its text messaging, social media sites or Internet chat systems. Our children can live a rich and varied online life that we all not always wholly unaware of. Equipping our offspring with the skills to move confidently through this environment should be a high priority for parents in UK. Recent high profile news stories have documented the horrific effects of cyber bullying. This is a particularly loathsome activity as children of unable to escape from their bullies, and can be tormented 24-hour a day via text messaging and social media sites.
The UK government has published guidelines for families. They advise that children should never reveal personal details, including email addresses or phone numbers online. They also encourage the reporting of all cyber bullying.
It should go without saying, but the only real way to fully know what your children are up to online is to monitor their Internet usage in person. Though software is available to record their activities, and block access to certain sites or prevent searches with certain keywords, these automated processes fail to provide the opportunities for giving advice, and teaching your children about living a sensible online life. Equipping children with a set of skills to combat predatory online activities is something that can only really be achieved via one-on-one tuition. Schools have been slow to react, so it is up to parents to take responsibility and bridge these essential gaps in their child's education. It's also paramount that parents keep themselves abreast of developments in technology, so this style of active partnership in Internet exploration paves a two-way street. As you help your children develop models of how to operate online, they can introduce you to new technologies.
The UK is about to see a revolution in Internet speed, tests reveal, with nationwide upgrade to bandwidths of 50mb an above. This is set to a herald a deeper penetration of the Internet into our lives, and we will be relying on the Internet even more in our day to day activities. The rise of social media looks to continue unabated, and the world is truly becoming a smaller place. Arming the next generation with a flexible set of skills that will enable them to deal with any issues this shifting landscape delivers should be a priority for every family in the UK.