After watching the local news for a half hour, many parents will be afraid to let their kids leave the house. But even inside, there are plenty of dangers lurking. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a bodyguard or an IT professional to keep your family safe and be a great parent. Here are three key areas to focus on family security.
1. Keeping Intruders Out
There are lots of practical steps to secure your home front and protect against theft and criminals. Simple things like regularly checking your locks and bolts and making sure your house remains well lit can go a long way in deterring intruders. Small solar lights can light up walkways and steps to help light the house.
Today, most houses have armed security systems with burglar alarms. You can install a great surveillance system that allows you to check in on things from your mobile device when you are out.
2. Staying Safe Online
Perhaps the biggest threat comes from inside the home. The Internet is full of predators and hackers from around the world who want to get into your house to steal valuable information and do other malicious things through the web.
Regularly talking to kids and teens about computer use is one of the best ways to open up communication about safety on social networks, games and websites. A good rule is to place the computer in the living room or other high traffic area where parents can keep an eye on the screen. With mobile devices and laptops, it can become more difficult to monitor. Some families decide to rule out using devices in bedrooms. Others install browsing programs like Safe Eyes that protect against explicit content.
Some families meet together to sign a contract about how they will help protect each other from the unfriendly presences on the Internet. The Family Online Safety Institute offer its own family contract to clearly outline how parents can help protect kids and how kids can be wise with their computer use.
3. Don’t Talk to Strangers and Other Rules
Finally, it is important to educate your children about safety when they leave home. A good guideline is to begin by fostering good channels of communication with your kids so that they talk to you about any questions they have or situations that make them feel uncomfortable.
Dr. Laura Markham recommends several rules for every family.
•Prioritize your child—one of the best ways to protect them from predators, bullies, drugs, etc.
•Teach kids how to swim
•Let your children know that their bodies belong to themselves only
•Help your kids develop healthy judgment about places and people
The world can be a scary place, but with these important guidelines to follow, you can help keep your family safe and happy.