Using Google Alerts to Protect Your Family

As we’re all aware, the Internet is composed of a vast amount of information. For parents, knowing where your children are, what they are doing, and what’s being said about them can be a huge source of stress. You may be struggling to keep up, and wondering how you’ll ever know exactly what they’re up to. However, with just a few clicks you can receive daily updates on your children’s online activities in your inbox – for free!

Monitoring your child’s activity with Google Alerts is actually quite simple. To start, go to http://www.google.com/alerts. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to register for one. Then, under the “Search Terms” box, simply enter any term you want to monitor, in quotation marks. For example, “Susie Jones”. Set your preferences for how often you want to receive alerts, as well as which email address you’d like them sent to. Follow these steps for any terms you’d like to monitor, such as your children’s names, screen names, schools, etc. Any web page with the exact term you enter will come to your inbox each day in list form, allowing you to keep tabs on your child’s Internet usage.

To put this system to the best possible use, insist that your child provide you with an accurate and up to date list of screen names that they use. Explain that this is a condition that their Internet usage depends on, and that without the list, they do not use the Internet. You can then use this list to set a series of alerts that will be delivered to your inbox on a regular basis.

This easy trick allows you to keep tabs of everywhere your child goes on the Internet, with minimal effort on your part. There’s no need for them to know how you’re doing it, and there’s no need for you to try to keep track of each website that they register at if you’re pressed for time. Instead, put Google to work for you, and allow technology to keep track of your child’s activities.

If you find a disagreeable entry with your child’s name or screen name attached, you can then sit them down to discuss the content. If it’s on a forum or social networking site, you can ask them to edit their post. If they’re being defamed or harassed on someone else’s site, you have the opportunity to report the incident to the authorities, along with the exact link to the content in question. This useful technique provides you with an excellent tracking method to keep tabs on your child’s Internet presence.

Have a great day!

Lawrence