Having kids in the technology age means they have access to a very big world and their online safety should be one of your main concerns as modern parents.
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Although it would be impossible to avoid having your kids go online, there are some online safety tricks you could use to help minimize some of the risks sometimes associated with the digital world.
Knowledge Is Power
If you’re unfamiliar with the online world then you need to educate yourself. A good way to start is to sign up for a social media account like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It could even be a good idea for your kids to show you around. This way you’re in a good position to see their behaviors and whether they are practicing good online safety.
Once you have an idea of what’s out there and have taken the time to research the real dangers of the online environments, then you’ll be in a better position to ensure your children’s online safety.
Be Open With Your Kids
Once you know the ins-and-outs of the Internet, it’s a great idea to have an open discussion with your children. Ask them about their online behavior without judgment, but be sure to tell them whether they’re behavior is unacceptable like joining a site which has an age limit.
This is a great opportunity to set boundaries in terms of which sites are off limits and why it’s important to practice good online safety. Tell your kids not to share any of their personal information with anyone, including photos. Be sure to tell your children about real life dangers like con-artists and criminals that lurk around on the Internet and that these people should not be engaged with. It is important to set online safety boundaries while still allowing your child to enjoy the benefits of the digital world and without being overprotective or paranoid which might only increase to appeal to be reckless online. Being generally nice online should be encouraged as well, to ensure that your own children don’t become online bullies or harassers.
Have Separate Accounts
A great online safety feature many websites and subscription services like Netflix has, is the option to have separate users. This means that you can set restrictions on some of the content your child gets exposed to. Having separate accounts is also a good way to be able to track your children’s behavior to be able to ensure they take online safety seriously.
Although it’s tempting to share every happy moment of your life online, it’s not always a good idea, especially if you have children. With it being so easy to snap a shot and share a location with your hundreds, sometimes thousands of followers, you could be putting yourself and your children at risk if you share too much of your online life.
As it’s your responsibility as a parent to maintain your child’s online safety, you need to always ensure that your own bad online behavior – like oversharing – doesn’t put you or your child at risk.
Practice Parental Control
As there are plenty of online safety features catering for parents, it’s sometimes very easy to set up restrictions on either certain devices, apps, or games. For example:
- iPhone: Settings > General > Scroll down to Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Create a Passcode. From here you’re able to choose which apps are off-limits.
- YouTube: There are free kids friendly versions for both Android and iOS devices.
- Netflix: You have the option to add a child to a kids friendly section on the popular streaming app.
- DStv: Press the DStv button on your remote control > Settings > Parental Control > Block content based on its rating using a pin.
It might be impossible to completely keep your kids safe online, but certain good habits good instill the skills in them to ensure they don’t jeopardise their online safety.
Do you worry about your children’s online safety? Are there certain tricks you’ve used to ensure your children are safe in the digital world? Drop us a comment below and let us know.