3 Ways to Protect Your Children Online

3 Ways to Protect Your Children Online
3 Ways to Protect Your Children Online

Children can find the internet dangerous. Chat rooms are full of identity thieves, predators, cyberbullies, scammers, and other criminals looking for vulnerable victims. Parents should be concerned if what their children see and hear online isn’t frightening.

The internet offers great opportunities to learn and connect with family and friends. These opportunities can’t be denied if you completely prohibit your child from going online. Children who go online without their parents’ knowledge are the most vulnerable.

Finding a balance with your children is the best thing you can do. It is important to educate your children about potential dangers and provide safeguards. These are three ways you can protect your children online.

1. Supervise their surfing

When your children use the internet, parental supervision is the best way to ensure their safety. When children are left to their own devices, they are much more likely to get into problems.

Start by placing your tablet or home computer in a central location in the family, and not in a bedroom. This will make it easier to monitor what websites your children are visiting while you are doing other things. Kids will be less likely to try to access chat rooms and websites that are not allowed.

But what about the cellphone? Because of its small size and mobility, it’s easy to conceal from others. Although this may seem like a small problem, it is a serious one.

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Your child should be able communicate with you and vice versa. A smartphone gives your child unlimited access to social media and the internet. This is unless it doesn’t.

To stay connected to your child, get a kids telephone. It’s made with safety in mind. These phones allow you to make calls and send texts. They also have GPS and cameras. You can also access limited, safe third-party apps. This phone does not have access to social media or the internet, so children are not left on their own.

2. These Parental Controls Should Be Used

Many internet service providers, platforms, and device operating systems now offer parental control options. You can also block certain websites or prevent sharing certain information (e.g credit card numbers). They don’t work unless parents are involved. You must actually use them.

Let’s suppose your children get home after you get home. This could mean that they could spend two to three hours online unsupervised. You could check their browser history once you return home but it is better to let them wait until you are back.

You can control the time your Wi-Fi access is open by using software, hardware or subscription services. You can limit the time your child can spend online, and restrict which websites they can access. It almost feels like you are there even though you aren’t.

These solutions are user-friendly but some can be difficult and expensive. It is possible to create a new profile and purchase a subscription for each child. Parental controls only work for the devices you control, but they don’t apply to Wi-Fi access that is shared with a friend.

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Parents can only control the things they can, as is the case with many issues involving children. You can educate your children about the dangers of online surfing. You might find that they make better decisions when they aren’t under your control.

3. Talk about it

This talk isn’t about bees and birds. This talk is about the dangers that the internet can pose. Both are about life.

Talk about the dangers of living offline is not much different from that about the internet. There is stranger danger, places they can’t go, privacy, and the right to be anonymous. It’s important to have a conversation about being open to questions and listening to their concerns.

These are all topics that should be discussed about the digital world. Remind your children that you would like to know the identities of their online friends and how they got there. Remind them to not share personal information such as their full name, home address, or school.

When you are having these conversations, don’t sound like you’re lecturing. Instead, encourage them to ask questions and make the conversation a dialogue. Not scare your children, but to inform and reassure them.

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to establish rules and hold your children accountable for following them. Understanding why they exist increases their likelihood of complying. You want them to know that you are only trying to protect them from both the real and virtual dangers.

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The World Can Be Dangerous

Albert Einstein, a parent, stated that the world was dangerous because of people who are evil but because people don’t do anything to stop it.

Parenting can be difficult. The digital world makes it more so. Online predators can now pose embodied dangers that you might not be able to see. This is a difficult challenge, but you have to accept it.

Even though you might not be as tech-savvy as your children, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to protect them online. These three methods require common sense, parental instinct and, if needed, some technical assistance. It’s worth it.