Much as internet is a beneficial resource for kids, it also has its seamy side. The same internet that helps your kids with homework or constructive online videos can enable them to navigate explicit content while web surfing. Believe me, it’s too easy for kids to venture into the wilds of internet and stray into it.
With the proliferation of tech gadgets like smartphones, tablets, or laptops, it has become easier for kids to remain hooked to them. Thus, one of the greatest challenges that parents face in the contemporary times is how to ensure kids safety while surfing the internet. A survey conducted by Oxford Internet Institute (OII) for 515 teenagers stated that 14percent of the kids aged between 12 to 15 had a negative experience online in the past and 8percent of the kids were contacted by strangers online. An overwhelming majority of the parents stated that they did not used online filters for restricting their kids’ usage of internet for some reason or another.
In order to preserve the best of what’s available online, here are best tips to encourage them towards online safety.
- Get yourself involved
Parents have to know each and every detail of what their kids do online. For this, they have to step into the cyber world, and become familiar with the internet. Before you can advise your kids about the dangers lurking behind internet, you must be fully informed about them and ways of tackling them.
- Keep the passwords protected
No matter how old your kids are, make sure they know the importance of protecting their password, be it of a social networking site or their smartphone. In this techno-digital era, there’s a new way to profess love to each other and that is when you share your passwords. It’s a proof that you’re deeply involved in a relationship. Promote safety along with respecting your kid’s privacy. Strictly forbid them from sharing passwords with friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, etc. as a simple password can reveal a lot of information about your kids to strangers.
- Limit their internet time
‘No-internet zones’ is a trendy concept among parents. many parents restrict kids’ internet usage in some parts of the house. Both the kids and the parents should follow the screen-free times. This is specially recommended in the bed rooms when it’s time to sleep. Also, at the dinner table, there should be no digital participants.
- Use monitoring tools for online surveillance
It’s impossible for parents to be glued to their children every time they use internet. Therefore, one viable solution is using monitoring apps like TrackMyFone. These apps can be installed in all tech devices, whether iOS or Android. Parents can remotely monitor the online activities of their kids without letting them know. This happens via online console that provides a live feed of a child’s activities. Parents can browse the internet history of their kids and also view the bookmarks, if any. The best thing these parental controls can do is block the illicit websites in a child’s gadget and also lock the tech screen whenever required. If kids are involved in an unauthorized activity such as sexting, or receiving sexual multimedia files, parents will receive instant alerts on their phone so that they can make an informed decision about their kids.
- Educate them about online dangers
It’s high time parents should consider their kids as adults instead of treating them as immature people. They should prefer having an open conversation with the kids to explain them how to maintain their privacy and the potential online threats and their consequences. Make sure your kids know never to reveal their personal information online, never to befriend a stranger online, or respond to strange emails or online messages.
- No file sharing allowed
File sharing programs are mostly available when using PC or laptop. Make sure there are no such programs installed in the tech device your kid uses. the Internet Service Provider (ISP) can be your ally. It can help you by downloading safe files from trusted sources. Safe music programs, videos, etc. can easily be downloaded using parental filtering.
- Be their go-to person
One of the major problems with the generation X is that they have trust issues with their parents. The huge generation gap is often the main concern for parents as kids rely on their friends when stuck in problems. Make sure you have a friendly relationship with your child so that they come straight to you if there’s something wrong. Do not overreact or shout at your child or rescind their online privileges. Stay calm and handle things smartly.
- Make changes in search engine and browser
You can tune up the search engine and avail its services for free. Making some changes into it will help you restrict sites with explicit content. Also, the browser offers safe surfing options which can filter out sex, nudity, offensive language, etc. on different scales. Safari often has parental control filters. These changes will not be noticed by a kid unless he is too tech savvy.