Parenting has always been a tough job since ages but in this digital era dominated by internet, keeping your kids safe from the negativity of internet is one difficult job and making sure you protect your kids on the internet is a must for every modern era parent. As the titbits of internet and its usage are like your cup of tea, your kids need your support and guidance, in extreme cases, strict actions accordingly for safe browsing, within limits. Like everything, internet too is filled with spam notifications, malicious websites, people with fake identity and offensive results which is not appropriate for your kids before adulthood.
So how do we protect our kids from various predators and the other dangers that the new digital era brings with it. of course it all starts with us as parents giving the example, but also education and open discussions are key to protecting our children on the internet.
The first step to protect your kids on internet before putting virtual parental control is to enlighten your kids about the dark sides of the internet and site examples of how people fall victim to such traps. Instruct them to deter from sharing personal details and whereabouts to random people on social media as fake profiles are lurking everywhere.
There is no surety that they will listen to what you have said. The reason is simple –the more you forbid, the more urge they feel to check it out. So, the next step in your attempt to protect your kids on internet is to set up parental control software. usually these softwares are providing a wide range of features that will enable you to keep a close eye on what your kids are doing online. As we know, online is and internet are very broad definitions and harm can come in various forms. Parental control software helps in monitoring, tracking, blocking and allowing to set time limits to prevent over exposure.
Websites are the most vulnerable platforms to derail your kids’ attention with adult contents being popped up spontaneously as well as those websites which direct to pornographic contents or spa results. In the commonly used browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Apple Safari, you can easily add your kid’s account and customize the results they would see while browsing. In search filtering option, you can create filters for blocking inappropriate contents. In Apple safari, you can set up age restrictions, limit the adult contents and add or remove websites.
Moreover, on your browser account, you should deselect guest browsing and prevent others from using your browser to find age-inappropriate results.
It is not possible to be around while your kids spend time on internet, so customize your router to gain access of what the children are up to of late. To protect your kids on internet make sure to check the browsing history every time they log out from internet and you can have idea of whether they are still getting some results which you have blocked. If you see any such activity, then you should consider about making a thorough customization of the results to be shown so that such incident doesn’t happen again.
However, it is also a fact that kids are cleverer than what you think and they might (or would) figure out the way to delete browsing history. So, it is better to check internet logs from router which will let you track the browsing history even after they delete it.
While with the browsing history, you will have an idea of your kids’ social media activities in display of links, to learn what they actually do within the network and who they talk to you would need their user name and password. For younger kids, with a bit transparency, you would know the details to have a look of their account and activities. Teenagers would hardly share their account details, so browsing history is your only option. But keep a notice whether they are acting strange, what they are sharing, liking, commenting on, whom they are interacting with and whether any bullying is taking place. Being a friend of their profile will help see some of the likes and shares. Finally, check our best parental control software list to see if which software will enable you to track and protect your kids social activity.
You never know when kids start browsing through obscene videos from kid-friendly cartoons and educational videos on websites like YouTube and Netflix. For these websites, you can easily create a new profile for your kid and keep the settings limited to their age group. Both YouTube and Netflix have effective parental control procedure where you can filter certain things like sexual contents, bloodshed etc off their limits. When they try to access the off-limit videos, they are asked a password for which they have to consult you.
To prevent them from being addicted or figuring out ways to bypass the parental control, put another barrier of parental control with limited screen time so that they do not have access to internet on mobile, laptop, tablets or PC after that specific time. Setting a time limit that spares them an hour before sleep, helps their minds relax to have a good night’s sleep. On your computer, you can select of deselect the time slots when you allow them to access internet.
Finally, the last option to be on safe side is to keep your gadgets password protected and also the specific apps/software off their limits by giving passwords (for mobile/tablets) and blocking the software you don’t want kids to use (on PC/Laptop). This not only helps in protecting your personal details and reputation safe from their reckless hands but also prevents them from in-app purchasing without your notice.
Maintain transparency with them and talk things out like “friends” so that they don’t go secretive as you go near the computer or mobile while they are using it. Help your kids see the bright side of internet.