I learned a valuable lesson this weekend that I knew I had to share.
My husband has been in the IT field for nearly 20 years and I also work online. You’d think that we would have a handle on our internet security, but this weekend discovered we were wrong.
We allow our sons to have a computer in their playroom because again, we thought we had the internet restricted enough that they couldn’t get to anything questionable for kids. They are 8 & 10 years old and have been online since they were 2. My oldest built the computer he is using after we bought him all the parts for Christmas. He knows his technology and we thought he knew the rules.
Saturday evening my husband went upstairs to the playroom to find my 10-year-old on the internet at a site called Oegle. The site says “Talk to Strangers” right on it because it is an anonymous CHAT site. We’ve allowed our son to chat on Minecraft with friends and family and we truly thought he knew not to talk to strangers. Thankfully we regularly check up on our boys when they’re online and we caught him.
As a result we have locked down our internet even further and will continue to check where he goes and even what is typed. He has been told of the dangers of chatting and now both boys are scared that someone will come to the house and kidnap them if they chat. Yes that is extreme, but I will do whatever I have to to protect my babies. This is scary and serious stuff!
I wanted to share this story with you in hopes that if you don’t already, you will watch your children closely when they’re on the internet. There are so many great websites that give tips on how to best protect your kids. Here are a few of my favorite links:
The internet has so much to offer for growing children that it’s sad that we have to go to such great lengths to keep bad people away from them. The bottom line is that as parents we have to do what’s best in our situation to protect our children. It’s our responsibility as a parent and we owe it to our kids.
Photo courtesy of paul.klintworth on flickr.