In such an age where social networking plays an important part in how our free time is spent, many parents are growing increasingly curious as to how to keep their kids from the dangers of the internet. While the World Wide Web can provide with countless hours of entertainment and quality education, there are also websites that display harmful content. It will not physically harm them but kids are impressionable in the early years.
You may hear people arguing that kids should be given their privacy, in order to allow them to grow up properly. It’s true as long as you practice preventive measures in first place.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tips for these worrisome parents.
With the help of filters, parents are allowed to set up fences around the dangerous websites. With a wide variety of solutions, you can easily get your hands on free and premium solutions. Some of them are so easy to use that you can deploy them on your home network without having much technical knowledge.
Internet Filtering can prove to be a very valuable tool. You can categorize websites as dangerous and allowed, and you can then sleep peacefully knowing your kids can’t access the dangerous sites.
Monitor Their Usage
Filtering the Internet traffic is a good idea but it won’t be as effective without a monitoring solution in place. There are a lot of sites that might not be deemed dangerous by your filter, but they could house a lot of potential dangers to your kid, which is where monitoring tools come into play.
Using monitoring tools is a good way to keep an eye on your kids’ online activity. Tools such as Surfie and mSpy give parents control over the activity. They can filter out content, block unwanted chats and control what kind of media is streamed through to their kids. It is therefore important to let your kids know that these tools will be in place.
With these tools, parents can set up automated alerts wherein the software solution would alert them to specific search items or they could schedule daily, weekly or monthly reports about their child’s activity online.
Let Them Join at the Right Time
It ultimately falls on the parents to decide the time when their kid can join social networks. Don’t let them join too early as it restricts their mental growth. You should instead engage them in healthy physical activities that are good for their health. While some kids are mature enough at 13 to join social sites, others are not.
There is a very wide and diverse array of social sites online today and not all the site are of the same nature. While there are some sites you can let your kid loose on, other mainstream ones require the kids to be at least 13 years of age in order to have an account. Although, sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram adhere to the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act”, there are no procedures in place to keep kids from making a false profile.
Many kids are ready to have a profile on social networks at the age of 13, and with supervised interactions they can flourish in to outstanding adults. Unfortunately, just growing 13 years old doesn’t mean that the kid is ready for social media just yet.
Aim for Open Spaces
You should place your computers in a public area of the house, like in the living room or dining room. Having your kid use Internet in the open space will allow you to easily monitor the usage.
This way not only will you be able to keep an eye on them while working on household chores, but the kid will also be aware of the parent’s presence in the vicinity, making them less inclined to venture into the prohibited areas of the Internet.
Make sure to engage them in a discussion about their online activities while they are online. Both the good and the bad should be discussed so that the kid knows how to tread in the virtual plane.
Put Firewalls in Place
Kids start using Internet at a very young age, and they need to be properly educated. They usually tend to click on links to get a game or anything which usually takes them to a very unsafe site. Parents should put firewalls and adequate protection in place in order to avoid their computers getting compromised.
Children should be set up with standard user accounts, while parents should keep administrative privileges to themselves. This will avoid having the kids turn these precautionary measures off by mistake or even on purpose.
Talk to Your Kids
Last but in no way the least, you should talk to your kids and educate them about the dangers lurking on the Internet. As discussed before, kids have started using technology from a very young age and they need to be taught proper etiquettes to be safe.
Going online and talking to new people is a thrill for kids, you should tell them that they can do so but should avoid giving out any sort of personal information on social networks and in chat rooms. With the help of the monitoring tools in place, parents can identify the most visited sites of their kids and then talk to their kids about the dangers accordingly.
At the start it may seem like that having these discussions might scare your kids, but it is better to have your kid be scared and aware rather than a target of an online scam, God forbid anything worse. With the help of the monitoring tools, you can catch any cyber bullying early on and help them stay ahead of it.
The World Wide Web is going to keep on growing at a steady pace. Enacting these tips will help parents stay on top of the ever changing technology in order to keep their kids from harm. Talk to your kids, teach them how to act in the world as well as on the Internet by sitting with them and teaching them proper ways to operate on both.