Thanks to the Internet, information is easier to get than ever. Kids can get online to do their homework, learn how to apply to college, or find out how long it takes Saturn to make a revolution around the sun.
Of course, when information is so easy to get it can be a little scary. Try Googling a phrase like “how to kill yourself,” “homemade bomb instructions,” or “play the choking game” and you’ll find a scary assortment of search results.
Knowing your child’s Internet history is about more than pornography. Just like you would know where your kids are late at night, you need to know where they are online at any hour of the day.
What they see, read, and search for online is usually a tangible record of what our Internet-connected kids are thinking about. It can be a clue to something parents need to know (are they searching for tips to help them with cyberbullies?) or alert them to potential problems (are they visiting sites that encourage illegal drug use?)
But as important as it is for parents to monitor where a child has been online, most of them know how to delete their history. If your teen is doing this, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re up to no good – but it is
a signal to start talking about Internet safety and setting house rules for using the Internet.
A combination of open communication, products like our service, and specialty software to retrieve deleted history can all play roles in monitoring what’s going on in your child’s online life.Jenny Evans is a mother of three and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, childhood, and family issues.