With today’s technological advancements, kids are spending more time online than they are watching television. If they are not playing an online game, they are watching a video online or are on social media chatting. Parents have a responsibility to keep their children safe online.
It’s a tough job considering the many avenues of accessing internet. While the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits the use of social media for kids below the age of 13, most kids with curious minds still access the social media. So how can parents keep their kids safe in the ever expanding technological space? Here are some useful tips to help with this:
1. Set Clear Internet Usage Ground Rules
As the parent, you need to set ground rules since you are the one who pays internet connection bills. Even so, before you enforce parental control, let your kids know what they are allowed to do online and what they are not allowed to do. Inform them when and how long they can stay online and let them know what they need to do should they land on an inappropriate site. Agree on the expectations and ground rules and ensure that they fully understand what you expect of them.
2. Create a safe communication environment
Make it easy for kids to bring stuff they come across online to your attention. Whether they stumbled upon something on YouTube or somebody said something weird during a chat, try and make it comfortable for them to discuss it. Make it a habit to hold open talks about who and what is online within the family.
3. Use passwords
Try as much as possible not to leave app stores logged in with your credit card details available. This is important because mobile games are very tempting and easy to upgrade. Should kids bump onto your device with all this information available, they’ll be able to shop or upgrade games and other systems, which costs you cash.
4. Educate Kids about Online Content Works
Once content goes online, it can be seen by anyone. Help your kids understand that when they meet people who pressure them to share images of themselves or write something that sounds compromising, it will remain online for people to see. Even during Snapchat sessions, recipients can take shots of the scree and share with more people. In addition, educate your kids not to talk to strangers while online. Teach them not to accept friend requests from persons that they do not know and not to provide personal information like location, school or name to such people. Reminding kids these things on a regular basis can help them stay safe online.
5. Use Router Security Features
You can use parental control features on your home router to keep your kids safe online. Point your router to filtered DNS in order to keep kids off bad sites. This works irrespective of the device they use to access internet as long as it is connected to the network router. Another control features that you will find on a good wireless router guide that are useful in keeping kids safe include access time limits. Most routers enable you to put internet connection on and off based on the schedule you have. This will enable you to keep your kids off internet during odd hours. The traffic logging feature also enables one to track browsing history so you can see what is getting in and out of the network. Turn this feature on via the administrator console on the router to monitor what your kids browse online.
6. Keep your Use Security Settings
Before you allow kids to go online, check internet devices for safety. You can use various security settings in your home router and internet browser to do this, particularly when you or other adults in the home are away. As the parent, ensure you keep the Wi-Fi security key away and change it on a regular basis. Use latest security measures including those in the good wireless router guide to ensure that routers, operating systems and devices are up to date and safe for your kids.
Further, you can make adjustments to your internet browsers via the options menu. Using these settings helps protect your gadgets from viruses and keeps your children safe online.