Monitoring your Childs Computer Time

It is so important for parents to know what web sites their children are going to and who they are talking to on the Internet. We have to educate our children and teenagers about the dangers before they should be allowed on the Internet. They should know about predators and how they gain information from unexpecting teenagers. Teach them to never give out any person information in a public forum.
If at all possible your computer should be in the most used area of your home. No, not the bathroom, but the kitchen or living room is ideal. Letting your children have a computer in their room with Internet access means you can’t see what they are doing or whom they are talking to. They can be on the computer anytime of the day or night without your knowledge.
There are several programs you can purchase or subscribe to that will send you a report of where your child is visiting on the web. Some even have age setting and allow you to block websites you don’t think appropriate. AOL allows you to set up an account for you child according to their age and they send an email to the primary account each day of your child’s activities.
It is a rule in my house that I have the password to all of my teenage son’s email and social accounts. By social accounts I mean websites like Facebook, Myspace or Tagged. They can have these accounts and can be communicating with people and you won’t even know about them. They can access them from school or a friend’s house. By helping them set the accounts up and making sure they understand that you will be checking them periodically it gives you a means to monitor them without spying on them. Make sure the email account to these sites is one you have access to. Keep their profile set too private so that only people they approve can see their entire site.
Try to keep a realistic limit on the time you children spend on the Internet. An hour or two a day in plenty of time. Making it a rule that their time on the Internet has to be when you are home is a great way to keep track of what they are doing. You can put passwords on your browsers to insure this rule is being followed. This will allow your children to still use the computer for things other than surfing the World Wide Web.
Basically you need to make sure your children understand the rules. You need to explain why there is a need for limitations and let them know how you will be checking on them. Don’t spy on them or go behind their back. Let them know they are going to be accountable to you if they want the privilege of being on the Internet.