While Internet access gives children an array of educational and entertainment resources, it can also make them vulnerable to serious risks such as online child predators and cyber bullies. These risks can be mitigated by proper adult supervision and age-appropriate education about Internet safety.
The FBI offers various recommendations for keeping children safe while still allowing them to enjoy the benefits of Internet access, including regular monitoring of saved files, online account information and website history. A savvy understanding of how the Internet works benefits children greatly for their future academic and professional careers, but it can also benefit them in terms of knowing how to protect themselves from potential predators. Parenting Magazine advises parents to get involved in the digital world their children are immersed in, making an effort to understand the latest technology and social networks.
Other potential downfalls of childhood Internet use include technology addiction and the potential of stumbling upon inappropriate material. Parenting Magazine also recommends that parents set specific time limits for Internet use and only allow children to visit certain pre-approved websites without special permission. By taking these steps, parents can turn disadvantages of Internet use into teachable moments to develop children who are safe and Internet-savvy.