We are living in a digital era when parenting becomes more difficult that before. The internet makes it challenging to monitor the whereabouts of kits. In the online world, kids are vulnerable, from cyberbullying to accessing age-inappropriate content, the internet has serious dangers that every parent should be aware of. So, how do we protect our kids on the internet from various predators and the other dangers that the new digital era brings with it? 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.
Why Should You Consider Protecting Your Kids on Internet?
Every parent should be concerned about how to protect kids on the internet. It is our inherent responsibility to keep them away from any threat including those that exists in the online world.
In social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, kids can meet people they do not personally know. This can also be a platform for cyberbullying. Plus, when kids are online, they might give out personal information that can be used by cybercriminals. They can access pornography websites and other age-inappropriate content. Many will also develop screen addiction and will not have time for more important things, such as studying. These are just some of the dangers that kids can face, making it necessary for parents to have a proactive approach.
Educate Them about 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 cite examples of how people fall victim to such traps. Instruct them to avoid sharing personal details and whereabouts to random people on social media as fake profiles are lurking everywhere.
Put up Parental Controls
There is no surety that they will listen to what you have said and 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 parental control apps 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. It is one of the best ways to protect your kids on the internet.
Best Parental Control Software
How do I protect my kids on the internet? If you are asking this question, we got you covered. You came to the right place. Below are some of the best parental control software you might want to consider.
Qustodio: The internet’s best free parental control app – that is how Qustodio introduces itself. If you want to unlock the full features, however, go premium. Some of the things that it can do include balance screen time, block pornography, view social network activity, track location, and control games. Creating an account and installing the software takes only five minutes.
Or read our Qustodio Review
McAfee Family Safe: If you want to make the digital world safer for your little ones, this software can help. You can see what your kids are doing, and you can also track their location. There is also a feature that allows requests, which will make this app flexible. One thing that makes it stand out from its competitors is the 30-day free trial, which will guarantee your satisfaction.
Or read our McAfee Safe Family Review
Bark: This is another full-featured parental control app that should be on your list. You can use it for limiting screen time, filtering online content, location tracking, and blocking apps. All that you need is to create one account for every family, and this already includes coverage for unlimited devices.
Or read our Bark Review
Kaspersky Safe Kids: Managing screen time, viewing real-time location, and blocking websites are some of the things that you can do with this parental control software. It comes with a free and premium version. The company also takes pride in how they are awarded by industry experts, so you can be confident that it will be effective if you want to protect your kids on the internet.
Eset Parental Control: With this software, you can filter website access depending on the age of the user, decide which apps kids can use, and track the location of your child’s device. There is also a social media scanner feature. However, take note that this is only for Android. Also, there is no feature to track calls and texts.
Parental Control On Websites
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.
Track Online Activity
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 thin,k 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.
Monitor Social Media Accounts
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 username 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.
Set Up Passwords for Certain Website Contents
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.
Set Screen Time For Internet Browsing
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.
Set Up Password for Mobile, Tabs, Laptops and PCs
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.
Knowing how to protect your kids on the internet is important. This is one thing that every responsible parent must do. From educating kids to using parental control apps, consider our suggestions above to keep your kids online while they navigate the online world.