Keeping your kids safe in this age of constant screen time is no easy feat. While kids are becoming more and more technically adept, their ability to discern the good from the bad in terms of content is a skill that must be developed. Going into dangerous or damaging waters can be as innocent as a simple spelling mistake (take the case of the 10-year-old girl who ventured into a content minefield by spelling the word “rapper” with only one ‘p’).
Education, vigilance, communication, and precautionary measures can go a long way toward keeping your child safe—whether they’re opening YouTube videos on his smart phone or researching a history paper online.
Have the “other” talk
Education is your first line of Defense as a parent, and talk with the “others” should be a rite de passage. If your child over the Internet or computer starts, it is important to sit down and talk to them about the rules of use is, risks, consequences, and security measures if rules are violated.
This is, if you set time, you tell the time on the screen them the most popular sites you may not use or view still depending on their age (such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter), and what should they in the event that they are not,, exposed to unwanted content. At this time bringing you your children, what personal information is, and should never offer it without the express permission of the parents.
In fact, children are not permitted sites, for a child personal data without parents ask for permission. You explain that they never provide photos of himself, or refer to themselves as children. As dangerous, as it can both be for children and parents, it is also important, talk about predators. Emphasise the importance of a session never someone who they know in person online and never communication, but report reacts with inappropriate, offensive or (gulp) dangerous behavior you.
We recommend that children not allowed, chat online, provided that they are not on a child-friendly hotel (such as Club Penguin). You tell them that the most stringent standard applies always. This means that, if it through a friend at home, their parents not watched or not to worry about what their children do online, the rules that they have at home, go still apply. Let your bark be worse than your bite. Make sure you, with consequences for the injured rules consistent stand. (For example, if your child is visiting a website that he knows off limits, remove computers for a week.)
Have an “open window” policy
Advise your children that nothing that they do on the Internet, their phones, or iPad is private. As a parent, you should give yourself full and unabashed rights to check up on your kids’ media lives, and explain to them that this is motivated by safety rather than mistrust. Just like you wouldn’t let your 11-year-old go to a party that isn’t chaperoned, use of any connected device should also be chaperoned. Show interest in what your children are doing online, and have them show you the sites they like to visit. They should always ask permission before going online, whether it be via their iPhone, iPad, or laptop.
Just like you would not allow, your child sit see, what could they want on cable TV, surfing the Internet for entertainment can at best questionable. Try purposeful surfing. If he are looking for a new skateboard or search for Martin Luther King Jr. for a report, you can manage results a little easier than to say that if he types a the words “Fun games” in a search engine. In this way he know you what for, how long it take should look, and have an idea of, what is to come. Make sure the pop-up Blocker on, if children use the Internet enabled.
We suggest keeping the computer in the living area with the screen clearly visible to keep an eye on what comes across the screen. Look for warning signs that the child is exploring unsanctioned content, like if he switches computer screens quickly when you enter the room. Be aware of other computers the child may be using.
Also be attentive to early signs of harassment, such as cyber-bullying. Signs include hesitancy to be online or nervousness when a message appears, emotional distress after using the computer or cell phone, suspicious phone calls, texts or e-mails, or a sudden change in your child’s normal behavior.
Parental control measures
Last, but not least, there are a variety of technologies available to you to monitor your child use. In the first place, many devices are built parental control. For example, if you are setting up a computer for your child, a user with a password protected you admin control, which use you set limits on your children.
You can turn off the computer, 10 am say, Alternatively you can use restrictions, how long a child can a device (an hour, two hours, etc.), and set filters to incoming and outgoing chat use to control, as well as which sites can be viewed. A child just on the Internet, the Internet restrictions on the maximum advisable. This is very restrictive, it is sure that questionable content is limited (children can use the “admin” as email access to a site request blocked).
You can also manually enter sites that you want to restrict, and pages vice versa allowed “White List” to. This is a little cumbersome, in which some of the comprehensive parental control software can be useful will be. There are many software suites available, and most of them one decent work. ContentProtect, SpyAgent, WebWatcher, IamBigBrother, Cybersitter, eBlaster, Safeeyes\r, net nanny, CyberPatrol, and Norton Internet security are a popular choice, to offer the different level of support. You can copy the control to the search level. For example, Google has a robust suite of security tools, including a YouTube safety mode from adult content filter.
This is a blessing for parents who want to share YouTube videos funny with their children but are concerned, they could stumble on unwanted content. You select, click on the link at the bottom of each page on video safety mode and lock you him one for this browser with your YouTube password. YahooKids.com is a great search engine for children, the < em > only < / em > allows child-friendly results.
Mobile Internet safety: There’s an app for that
We all know that having a mobile kid means mobile media via the smartphone. Again, you can control content at the search engine level, using tools like Google’s SafeSearch which is accessible on any mobile device. Just choose settings located at the bottom of the screen and you’ll see the option to select Strict, Moderate or to turn SafeSearch off completely.
Like everything else under the sun, there is an App for mobile Internet safety, which will help parents rest at ease when their child is away. We like McAfee Family Protection. It’s a little more expensive at $19.99, but it’s very robust. It even allows you to remotely disable browsing if you so desire. We also like the Child Safety Online App, which is more of an educational tool for parents that offers helpful tips, such as “Tips to Avoid Sexual Predators,” Social Networking guidelines, and more.
No magic bullets
The bottom line is that you should start educating your child early on Internet safety and take a multipronged attack to keeping your child safe. A combination of vigilance, education, rules, consequences, parental controls, and mobile-safety applications will all help to protect your little ones.