Any parent would be forgiven for worrying about how safe their child is going to be when using the internet. Not only does the internet offer access to all manner of content that may not be suitable for children of a certain age (or people of any age for that matter), but there are also other dangers lurking on the internet such as the potential for unsavoury individuals to talk to your child, and for your child to socialise virtually with individuals that are also simply not who they say they are.
However, the ubiquitous availability of internet access on everything from computers to phones means that monitoring usage can be extremely hard and that trying to simply forbid it altogether will be both counterproductive and futile.
Therefore, you will need to simply be aware of the dangers and know how to reduce the potential issues that can arise when children use the internet. Should you later be worried that your child may be using it for the wrong reasons or that people they have met online are not who they say they are, it will be easy enough to find out what is going on, whether through the use of certain technological tools or with the help of private detectives.
However, being suspicious of your child is not the best approach, and instead it will be important to educate them on how to use the internet safely and to ensure that they feel comfortable talking to you about what they have been doing online. The more they feel able to open up to you, the less likely they are to hide things that could later cause problems.
Make sure they know the dangers of talking to others online, and wherever possible try to keep computers in communal rooms so that they are unable to hide conversations from you. However, as well as educating your child about online dangers, be sure to educate yourself and always be aware of the danger signs to look out for. And when in doubt, don’t simply snoop or shout as children will then be far more likely to cover their backs. Instead, use private investigators to get to the bottom of any worries you might have.