It’s so easy to understand why many parents have a love-hate relationship with the Internet. On one hand, it’s a wonderful source of information and knowledge. On the other, it could provide too much information and knowledge that is deemed inappropriate for kids who are at such an impressionable age. The internet is a good avenue for connecting and reconnecting with family and friends; however, it is also where you could have a brush with unsavory characters.
Here are some Internet safety tips for kids in order to remain safe even while making full use of the vast information available out there on the web.
- Be careful what you share online, particularly when it comes to personal and sensitive information about yourself and any member of your family. Social networks have privacy settings, but even those can be bypassed and hacked into, so the best thing to do is to not divulge too much. There are simply some information that is not meant to be shared to all and sundry. (This includes passwords.)
- When sharing photographs of yourself or of your family, choose where to post or upload it. Also, be mindful of the photos or images you share. If the photographs are of other people, like members of your family, for example, ask for their permission first before posting them online.
- When using a computer or laptop that is also used by other people, make sure to log out properly from any of your accounts (e-mail, social networks, etc) when you’re done using the Internet.
- Making friends is not a bad thing. However, before meeting any of the friends you’ve met online in person, make sure to get your parents’ or guardians’ permission first. Should you decide to eventually go ahead with the meeting, it would be better if you are accompanied by your parent or guardian.
- Respect applies online, too. When joining discussions online or adding comments on certain posts, don’t be insulting. This would minimize, or altogether prevent, hostilities against you.
- Follow the rules. If your parents forbid you to visit certain sites, or if the library at school expressly lists down which websites to avoid, heed their words. If you have homework and you need to use the internet, do not hesitate to ask for help. No one would think less of you if you ask for parental guidance while surfing online.
- If your parent has restricted your access to the Internet via tools such as Net Nanny or firewall software, do not try to hack into such a setup. Accept the fact that everything is done with a good purpose.
- Sound off. If you have any concerns, or there is someone bullying you online, let someone know about it. Keeping quiet will not solve the problem. Net stalking is a major problem on the Internet.
The best safeguard against anything that could pose harm to kids while using the internet is guidance and vigilance on the part of the parents. Good communication between parents and their children is vital in order to keep everyone safe from Internet-related risks and dangers. Needless to say, the parents need to be kids’ best friends in real life and on the Internet as well.
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Going on vacation somewhere, especially when you’re visiting the place for the first time, is seen as the perfect opportunity to “let loose”, set aside your worries, and simply enjoy yourself. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should take hotel security for granted. A number of trips have been ruined once travelers go back to their hotels only to find it ransacked, looted, and their things stolen. This could happen to anyone – frequent business travelers included.
Just because you’re staying in a 5-star hotel does not mean you’re completely safe. Here are some things to remember regarding your safety and security while staying in a hotel.
Hotel Safety Checklist
- Preparedness is key. When booking your hotel accommodations prior to your trip, look up reviews and testimonials of the hotel, inn, or bed-and-breakfast you’ll be staying at. Assess how safe the location is – particularly with respect to fire hazards, break-ins, and other crimes
- Rooms in the upper floors are harder to break into, so book a room that’s not located on the ground floor or the second floor
- Most hotels provide lockers or safety vaults for their guests. Place your valuables (passport, travel documents, gadgets) in these safes when leaving your hotel for the day
- Confidentiality and privacy are your rights as a hotel guest. Front desk clerks are not supposed to announce your room number (and room phone number) for everyone to hear. Ask for a different room if that’s the case
- Check the locks of the windows and the doors of your room. If you find them to be faulty, or some windows are stuck, ask to be transferred to another room
- Make sure you know where the fire exits on your floors are located. The hotel should also provide you with a list of emergency phone numbers you could call. Program them into your phone or bring a copy of the list with you everywhere you go
- Being friendly with locals and other tourists is not a bad thing, but you should still practice caution, especially if you’re all women in a new place. Do not allow other people inside your rooms, not even if you’ve known them for more than a couple of days. While befriending people you should also be knowing the culture and ethnic practices of people in your travel destination so as to avoid any racism related issues
- The most important security tip is to maintain a high level of vigilance. Double-check that the doors and windows are locked when you’re leaving the hotel for a day of exploring the town, and when you go to sleep. When someone knocks on the door, do not immediately open it, not even if they announce that they’re Housekeeping or Room Service (especially if you didn’t order anything). Peepholes are there for a reason
You never really know for sure what could go wrong on your trip, so make sure you do all you can to be prepared for any eventuality. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry
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