The internet can be a dark place if you are not careful. Your children are susceptible to all kinds of sexual, inappropriate, and illegal content. If you do not check what they are doing online, they can end up seeing something disturbing. There are many parental guidance checks and tools that you can use to keep your kids safe. Even then, proper dialogue and a strict eye on their activity can be crucial.
Even a simple Google search for Spectrum promotions can take them to an illegal website. There are a lot of ads online that may or may not be regulated. It is your responsibility to make sure that your child is not consuming such content. Age-appropriate filters and privacy controls can be a sure shot way to keep your kids away from harmful websites. This is a complete guide that you can follow to keep your children and their data safe:
Before you allow your kids to go online, you should talk with them. It can get uncomfortable for some people to talk to their kids about this, but it is important. Open communication should not be taboo. If there is something that your kids will eventually find out, why not tell them yourself.
When you think your kids are old enough to use the internet, you should talk to them. You can explain some of the things they might see online. You should also tell them what kind of websites you’d like them to steer away from.
The kids should know the difference between right or wrong. You should equip them with the right information, so they know how to conduct themselves online. A discussion about the security and privacy of their data is especially important if your kids use social media.
Make some Ground Rules
Talking about age limitations and content consumption will lead you to this point. Talk to your kids about their likes and dislikes. You should know why your child wants to use the internet. If you know how they want to spend their time online, you can suggest appropriate websites. Establishing ground rules on what websites they can visit will keep them away from harm.
You can also talk to other parents with children to make a list of safe websites. There are a lot of informative websites that are strictly age-appropriate. Moreover, social media websites like Facebook and YouTube have a minimum age limit for their users. Ground rules will keep your kids in line even if they are curious cats.
Managing Access to the Internet
Even after you have given your kids “the talk,” you shouldn’t let them free. You can use various tools to manage access to websites on your child’s device significantly. There is some surveillance software that can help you keep an eye on your kid’s online activity. Such software can be a lifesaver if you cannot always supervise your child yourself. You can set restrictions for websites and set prompts for keyword searches as well.
Moreover, there are other parental guidance tools like Google Safe Search, Facebook privacy, and YouTube Kids. You should keep an eye on their search history on YouTube and constantly update their social media privacy.
Your kids should avoid more open social media like Twitter and TikTok, where the content can be inappropriate and unregulated. Even Gmail has a minimum 13 years of age limit before your kids will have supreme control over their account.
Pop-Ups and Filters
You should add parental control features on all devices that your child uses. The safety features and privacy settings will keep your kids safe from inappropriate content. If you are worried that your child may stumble upon something unexpectedly, you can add filters to your browsers. Many illegal and inappropriate websites work through pop-ups.
The notorious pop-ups can lure your kids by suggesting they play a game or click for a prize. To avoid this, you should block all pop-ups on your browser settings and don’t allow websites to send notifications.
You can keep your kids safe by introducing them to kid-friendly search engines so no weird websites will pop up. There are safe search options for Google and Bing, and you can also allow them to use Swiggle.
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Avoid Pirated Software
Not everything that your child can come across is an accident. Sometimes, it can be because of the software on your computer. If you or your kid downloaded pirated software or your Windows is not activated, it can reduce online safety. An updated and genuine software has proper firewalls that control malware and viruses to harm your computer.
If you haven’t spoken to your child about data and information security, do it now. Your child should be aware that their personal information is susceptible. If they go to a torrent website or a developer website that sells pirated software, they are at risk. They can unknowingly give out personal information to hackers.
Virtual Chat Rooms
Social media can also lead your child to virtual chat rooms with a large number of people. Many such child-centric chat rooms are quick to restrict adults from posting inappropriate content. However, there are a lot of other chat rooms with no such proactiveness. You don’t even know who your child is talking to behind the message board.
Make sure that your child stays away from such harmful message boards and video rooms. They are a cesspool of hackers, sex offenders, and kidnappers. Your child can give away their school or home address and expose themselves.