At first, it was relatively simple to keep our children safe online. With browser controls and one computer in the whole home, we could see what they were doing at all times. Nowadays, it’s much harder. Not only are kids more tech-savvy with their browsing history, we also have to worry about smartphones, tablets, and all sorts of other devices. With this in mind, we have some advice for all parents today!
Talk to Them
Although it sounds simple, there are plenty of studies that suggest a lack of communication between parents and children. For example, you could start discussing what is and isn’t appropriate when online. What should they do if they start to feel uncomfortable online? How do they deal with certain circumstances? The more you talk about online behavior, the more willing they will be to approach you when something is wrong.
Next up, educating yourself on the dangers of the internet and how to prevent them will ultimately be the best way to keep your children safe online. As soon as you understand the potential risks, it’s easier to keep an eye on their activity and the signs of problems. What’s more, your children will also find it easier to talk to you if you understand what they’re saying.
Educate Your Children
Once you know more yourself, you can pass on some of this knowledge to your children. Sometimes, it’s the naivety that gets children into trouble online. As they start to learn more, they can be better prepared for certain scenarios.
Have a Universal Password
Especially for younger children, why not set up their accounts WITH them? This way, you know their passwords and can check on their activity whenever required. Of course, we also can’t stress the importance of age requirements on certain platforms. If a social media website or platform says that members need to be over 18, keep your children away (the age requirements are in place for a reason).
Check the Browser History and Recycle Bin
Again, this is a very simple tip, but keeping your children safe online doesn’t always require a degree in international espionage. Instead, once they’ve logged off, check their browser history. Assuming they haven’t deleted it, you will see a log of every single website they’ve visited. After this, check the Recycle Bin for deleted files.
Set Rules and Be Strict
The internet can be a dangerous place these days, so we recommend discussing rules with your children. As well as screen time, talk about inappropriate content and what they’re accessing during online time. At all times, your children need to know that you’re serious about these rules so make sure you stick to them.
Contact the Service Provider
If you want to prevent your children from accessing violent websites or pornographic material, make use of the browser settings and also consider having a conversation with your internet service provider. Normally, they can set filters. Remember, all browsers and WiFi routers these days will have some form of parental controls, so why not make the most of them?
Install Antivirus Software
Finally, for all computers and laptops in the home, make sure you have an antivirus program installed just in case they happen to click on a dangerous link. These days, there are also some brilliant mobile security and antivirus apps that can come in handy.
If you want to keep kids safe online, you need to play an active role. By educating yourself, checking what your children are doing online, and keeping open lines of communication with them, you can avoid the horror stories seen elsewhere!