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Keep eyes on your children’s online activities

MNA Life Style Desk: As with the real world, the Internet has its seamy side — and it’s all too easy for children to stray into online. Children learn through exploration and natural curiosity, and it is part of our job as parents to encourage that.

However, as our children grow up, develop and discover new experiences, we have to take more and different steps to ensure their safety, especially on online activities. Here are some tips to keep eyes on your children’s internet activities.

Step into their cyber world

Parents have to get involved. Just as they know every detail of the playground around the corner – the jungle gym, the swings – they need to know their kids’ internet playground as well.

Set house rules

Decide how much time you’re comfortable with your children being internet and which sites they may go to. You might post a short list or even a signed contract next to the computer. So there’s no confusion, talk about the rules – and the consequences for breaking them.

Teach cyber-safety

Make sure your kid knows how to avoid online dangers. Tell her that she must never share personal information like her name, school, or address with strangers online. Also, she should never send photos to or share passwords with strangers.

Embrace online world

The best way to keep your child safe is to guide her to safe places on the Internet. Take advantage of the many educational and fun activities — download music, play an online game at sites like National Geographic.com, or visit Facebook — so that you are familiar with the internet world.

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