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. Parents are searching online for answers on how to safeguard kids on the internet and what are the best ways it can be done and are there any effective hacks they need to consider. 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.
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What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding refers to “the process of working to protect individuals (especially children and vulnerable adults) from harm, such as abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In this article, however, we are focusing on safeguarding as a way to protect kids online. It is all about establishing a set of practices that will promote the online safety of your kids. You are not near them all the time. You might be busy with work, and in many instances, you do not have control over what they do on the internet. Be familiar with safeguarding children policy and understand how it can impact kids and parents. When it comes to child protection policy, different organizations and governments have varied recommendations. However, if there is one thing that they all agree upon, it is that the internet is dangerous for kids, and hence, parents must take all measures to safeguard kids on the internet. there should be safeguarding measures in place. This includes properly educating children, having parents actively involved, and using the right tools, such as parental control software. Depending on where you live, there are also certain organizations that are responsible for safeguarding the vulnerable population, including children. They can help if your kids are being abused online.
Educate them about Internet
The first step and probably the best one before putting virtual parental control apps is to educate 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. Safeguard Kids On the Internet will work much better if they are aware of the dangers that might be waiting for them.
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How Do Parental Controls work?
Parental controls are software and applications that will help in safeguarding children. Either free or paid, you have to install parental controls on your phone and on the device that you will need to monitor. Once everything has been set-up, you have complete control. You can block age- inappropriate websites. You can also see your kid’s online conversations and you can intervene when needed. Using parental controls is important for your peace of mind. Even if you are busy, by having a
parental control app in place, you can monitor your child’s whereabout, even their real-time location. You can protect them from the threat of the online world, including cyberbullying and identity theft. This is a great way to be in control of your kids’ online behaviours.
Make sure to put up Parental Controls
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, here is how you can tackle this – use parental controls to safeguard kids on internet.
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. 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.
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 saw you would need their user name and password. For 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.
Set Up Passwords for Certain Website Contents to safeguard your kids
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. Read this full guide on how to set up parental control on Youtube and Netflix to learn more or visit directly the platform for further guidelines.
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.
As parents understand more and more about the possible dangers of the internet for their kids, the option to just let kids use un protected mobile devices and PC's does not exist. In the above article we mentioned few ways for involved parents to safeguard kids on the internet. It is important to note that there are many different tools that can help you monitor what your kids are doing on line and be able to help and react quickly in case of harassment or other threats. We reccomened you read our details review of the best parental control software to make sure they have the right features and support the platforms you need.