10 rules for Internet use
If children are to use the Internet unsupervised, an agreement or set of rules should be made in dialogue with the children.
An open dialogue with children regarding Internet rules makes it easier for children to understand and agree with the rules. It is also more likely that children will follow the rules when they have participated in making them.10 useful things to make an agreement on:
- Parents should keep themselves oriented on their children’s use of Internet. Children should share their experiences online with their parents.
- An agreement should be made on how much time children are allowed to spend online every day, which websites they are allowed to visit and which activities they can do there.
- Children should trust their “gut feeling”. If something they see, read or experience online makes them feel nervous or uncomfortable, they ought to share these feelings.
- When children participate in an online activity where a log on name or user name is required, parents should help them come up with a suitable name and make sure it doesn’t reveal any personal information.
- Inform children never to reveal their address, phone number or any other personal information, such as which school they attend, where they like to play and so on.
- Rules for good behaviour and the difference between right and wrong is the same online as in normal life.
- We all have to respect other people’s property online. Illegal copying of music, games, movies, software and so forth is theft in the same way as stealing something in a store.
- Children must never agree to meet friends they have met online in person. Such friends are not always who they seem to be!
- Children need to know that not everything they read or see on the Internet is true. If uncertain, they ought to ask an adult.
- Children’s activities online can be controlled using advanced software. These are not used by adults because they mistrust children, but in order to make it safer to use the Internet. Different safety settings help blocking inappropriate content, monitoring what websites children visit and keeping track of their online activities.