Things to Do to Ensure Kids Internet Safety
Kids These days can certainly teach us adults a thing or two about technology but that doesn’t mean that they are so tech savvy they can evaluate risks that are essential for internet safety. Kids these days are exposed to all sorts of online predators. Not only that but advertising that can get them into all sorts of bad habits and if we’re not there to keep them safe and keep an eye on them, they could potentially get caught up in all sorts of bother.
Bullying is a big worry for parents these days and kids online can be particularly cruel. According to reports from IPSOS one in three parents report knowing that a child in their community is a victim of cyberbullying. Even though cyberbullying awareness is up 9 points to around 75%, however; at least a quarter of adults have never heard about it.
So.. Letting the kids loose on the internet might seem like a great way to keeping them quiet, it could cost you in the long run. Kids are impressionable so whatever the other kids are doing, they will follow suit. Not only that, there are tons of cyber attacks happening everyday so getting a ransomware infection can cause you a lot of headache and expense.
Here are Some Things You Can do to Keep Your Kids Safe Online.
Whether you’re on the go or just want to catch up with some housework, it is so easy to hand your child a laptop, tablet or Smartphone and let them watch their favorite cartoons on YouTube. The only problem is that YouTube is full of lots of different content and most of which is not suitable for children.
YouTube does have a few safety features and all parents should take advantage of them. On the desktop version there is a “Restricted Mode” located at the bottom of the screen. This hides content that has been flagged as inappropriate.
On the mobile app version, click on the image or initials located in the top right corner then on Settings > General then scroll down to the “Restricted Mode” option.
Social Media Privacy Settings
Most kids would be aware that whatever they share on social media can be seen to the whole world. Therefore, it is important to make them aware of the facts. Most apps have built in privacy settings and here is a list of some of the most common sites.
Get a Good Antivirus
Children are very prone to clicking on links and buttons and just love to download things, this can sometimes lead them to inadvertently download a virus or other malicious malware.
Fortunately for us there are some great Antivirus/ Anti-malware products out there that are very inexpensive and can really save us from having to fork out a ton of cash to have our beloved devices repaired or even worse must buy a new one.
Use Child-Safe Browsers and Search Engines
This option allows you more control over what your children can view and search for. Zoodles is a Safe online environment for kids. The company offers a Free version and there is a premium option that includes more options like an ad blocker and time limits etc.
Some of the better-known browsers like Chrome for example have built in settings that can block explicit searches and can show you what websites your little darlings are visiting and can even restrict their access to certain websites. It’s called “Supervised Profile” and you can learn more about it here.
Add Your Kids as Friends
If you allow your kids to have social media accounts (even though most of them have an age limit) make sure that you keep them as a friend by sending them a friend request or follow their accounts so you can keep an eye on them, It is estimated that 83 percent of parents have friended their children on social media. So, don’t them try to tell you their friends don’t have their parents as friends.
This way you can keep track of their online presence and if their posts are appropriate.
Set a Daily Limit on how Long Your Kids Spend Online.
A recent survey suggested that teenagers spend a shocking 9 hours per day staring at their devices!
A bulk of that time is spent just watching videos, playing games or social media.
It’s recommended that parents:
- Limit the use of screens during meals and for an hour before bedtime.
- Limit the child’s temptation to check devices at all hours of the night by not charging them overnight in their rooms.
Of course kids can always try to pull the wool over our eyes and there’s not much you can do to stop your child accessing these sites whilst out of your supervision, so the best way to protect them from online dangers is through good-old education.
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